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Gary Roberts doesn’t think much of Mike Gillis when it comes to Cody Hodgson

Apr 30, 2012, 8:29 AM EDT

Cody Hodgson Getty Images

Somehow, it’s the offseason of Cody Hodgson.

After hearing Vancouver GM Mike Gillis rip Hodgson apart after the Canucks were eliminated from the playoffs, Gillis managed to upset someone close to Hodgson.

Former NHL star and current conditioning guru Gary Roberts works with Hodgson, and he was none too pleased with the GM’s assessment of his pupil’s play.

John Vogl of the Buffalo News hears from Roberts, who was more than happy to give a piece of his mind about what he thinks of Gillis.

“I talked to Cody after this came out with Gillis,” Roberts said. “I know he’s on vacation, and I said, ‘Hey, I know you went through a lot of stress. How are you feeling about some of those comments?’ He said, ‘Gary, I’ve dealt with a lot of stuff there in the last three years, and I’m just going to take the high road.’

“For me, I’d like to be the guy that looks at Mike Gillis and says, ‘You’re a moron.’ It doesn’t really do anybody any good other than the fact that Mike Gillis looks like, as they say on TSN, a dud.”

Roberts refuted Gillis’ thoughts that Hodgson didn’t want to work and says Hodgson is like Steven Stamkos when it comes to motivation and determination. Roberts also says Hodgson has been dealing with an injury for the last couple years.

The Sabres, of course, are happy having Hodgson and hope Roberts’ training will turn him into the star forward Gillis once believed he’d be.

  1. taytay099 - Apr 30, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    I can’t agree more with Gary Roberts. Cody suffered a serious back injury and he was being called a bust by the fans and media before he ever played his first NHL game. Gillis then trades Cody and says he won’t discuss why. Now that the Canucks lost in the first round he decides to throw Cody under the bus. Why do Canucks fans wonder why the rest of the NHL fans hate us?

    As an outside I obviously have no clue what happened behind closed doors, but it sure seems like Cody wasn’t treated properly by the Canucks organization. Now Gillis is trying to paint Cody as the bad guy by saying Hodgson “wanted out.”

    Also was a terrible trade much like the Ballard trade. He’s made some great trades like Booth, Ehrhoff and Higgins, but this Hodgson trade really cancels them out.

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      It’s way too early to conclude who got the better of the trade (or rather, whether it helps both teams).

      I’m sure the Canucks organization would like a couple of do-overs in their handling of Cody Hodgson but it seems clear that the regrettable behaviour is on both sides at the very least; see the series of tweets Ritch Winter posted after the trade.. err wait you can’t he deleted them and then claimed he was hacked.

      You can say the Canucks painted Hodgson as “the bad guy” but that’s too black-and-white for me. Gillis’ comments are obviously not complimentary but they are also hardly surprising to most people; he should have just kept his mouth shut in my opinion but I don’t see anything he said that isn’t true.

      • cableguymike - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        Just after tweeting his cell phone number of course. Haha.

      • taytay099 - Apr 30, 2012 at 7:53 PM

        Yeah, his agent is pretty screwed up. I’m not saying Cody’s innocent in this whole thing. I’ve heard he had quite a few meetings about his role on the team and his ice time. That doesn’t sound like a team player to me. Rookies shouldn’t be having those discussions.

        I just don’t like how Gillis handled this. At first he refuted claims that Cody wanted out and wouldn’t discuss it. Now he’s saying Cody wanted out. He also mentions Cody complained more about his problems more than anyone on the team. What is Gillis accomplishing by saying these things? So what if they’re true? Why say this now?

        If Cody didn’t want to be here then that’s fine; I don’t blame him. If you’ve read the Province or Sun in the last 3 years you’d want to leave as well if you were him. The media here is pretty terrible… Tony Gallagher anyone?

        Maybe I’m just mad because I was really excited about watching Cody grow into a superstar as a Canuck. I had high hopes about him.

    • cableguymike - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Here’s the problem. Gillis has been ripped for the trade since it happened while Rich Winter, Cody and his dad have been allowed to come out as perfect angels that were blindsided (my butt) by the trade. As long as what he said was true, and it pretty much matches up with what Rich Winter said on Twitter, then I have no issue with him coming out and explaining to the fans why he did what he did.

      From the sounds of it, the players in the room weren’t too torn up about seeing the rookie go. That speaks volumes.

  2. davebabychreturns - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    I’ve never read any Gillis quote questioning Hodgson’s work ethic, so that’s a bit confusing.. you would think such a quote would get a bit more play in the media given the consensus seems to be that Hodgson is a driven, dedicated player.

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      Ahh, the article is accurate but just hilariously misleading. Where Yerdon writes this:

      “Roberts refuted Gillis’ thoughts that Hodgson didn’t want to work “

      The original attributes this to Roberts:

      “It almost was like they thought he didn’t want to work. Well, I can tell you that this kid out of all the kids that I train, he’s up there in the [Steven] Stamkos group as far as commitment and determination. What I tell him, he does, so I know he’s coachable and I love working with him.”

      So yes, Roberts “refuted Gillis’ thoughts”.. that he made up in the sentence prior.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        With misleading lines like that, you’d almost think these guys were writing for Fox rather than NBC…

  3. prolibertate85 - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Must have missed the part of the press conference where Gillis said that Cody didn’t work hard…
    I thought it was more about how he had to spend more time on Cody’s dad & agent’s “issues” than any other player on the team combined. Weird that a guy that’s being paid thousands of dollars by Hodgson’s camp would come out and defend him tho

  4. cableguymike - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    The kids gone through three agents so far. THREE. Not saying the Canucks handled his injury the best they could but something is not quite right on the kid’s side either. I also find it amazing people are blown away by MG comments. Look at who his current agent is: Rich Winter. The same guy that helped Comrie get out of Edmonton if I’m not mistaken.

    • elvispocomo - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      It’s no secret Gillis doesn’t like Winter from his days as an agent and now as a GM. He’s been pretty respectful despite that and, if anything, overly complimentary of Hodgson himself. The comments now are all directed at the Hodgson camp versus Hodgson himself.

      • cableguymike - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        Rich Winter himself on Twitter claimed that Cody’s goals and the Canucks goals were not the same. The agent came out and said that. Makes you wonder what the hell Cody’s goals are other than just getting more ice time.

        I was a huge CoHo fan before his agent went on that crazy tweeting tirade, tweeted out his cell phone number (!) to a Vancouver sports writer (and everyone else at the same time), and then claimed his Twitter was hacked and deleted months worth of tweets. Now, while I wish Cody the best, I’m glad he’s gone.

  5. dsd3 - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Sounds like it was best for the Canucks and Hodgson to part ways. Personally, I think Hodgson clearly was mistreated by the Canucks with his injury situation, but sometimes the best thing is a clean start for both parties involved. Will be interesting to see if a fresh start in Buffalo is good for him.

    • cableguymike - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Another reason I’ve always disliked AV and wanted to see him go for years. He loves to rip injured players in the media. Even a heart and soul player like Willie Mitchell when he’s got a cracked vertebrae. But then he spoons with a plug like Aaron Rome. Mind boggling.

      • dsd3 - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Yeah, that’s just odd. Even if he was questioning the validity of an injury, or thought a player was making an excuse, he really should keep it to himself. It only makes him look bad, especially when Hodgson’s injury turned out to be quite serious.

  6. hsnepts - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Hodgson was Gillis’ first pick as Vancouver’s GM. Honestly, Gillis wanted Hodgson to become star in Vancouver as much as anyone. Sometimes GMs derail players drafted by other GMs, because they don’t see the same potential. But that wasn’t the case here.

    Some people here are bashing Gillis for his comments – ignoring the fact that they are quite probably true. There is (and ought to be) a time for brutal honesty – even in sports media – and after the season is over is the right time. I appreciate that Gillis can come out and tell it like it is.

    And if you like to believe the worst, and you think its somehow a bunch of spin, the fact that Hodgson has been through so many agents is a huge hint as to what was really going on. Hodgon repeatedly did not deny that he asked to be traded.

    I loved Hodgson as a nuck. I value players by how they perform in big games – and Hodgson was clutch this year. Im sorry to see him go – but I think that’s he (Hodgson) wanted.

  7. canuckswino - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Uhh, hey Gary. You know that Cody wasn’t complaining this year about how his injury was handled, right?! And you know that Cody’s “camp” was constantly seeking meetings with the Canucks about ice-time and his role, right?! I’m sure you knew that, and it just slipped your mind – no worries. Here’s a CBC Hot Stove segment where Elliot Friedman reports that maybe it’s time for Cody to start telling the people around him to shutup, and just let him play:

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