Terrance Gavan – THN – Sports
A bluesy newser from Bleacher Report intimates that Haliburton’s Cody Hodgson is having problems in Vancouver.
I’m a Cody advocate and always have been. I’m not a big Alain Vigneault fan. I’m not hooked on his coaching style. And I am not at all enamored of the way he managed the club in the playoffs.
Especially his antics vis a vis the fourth line.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
When a team enters the finals it needs to manage its talent. And especially in the opening rounds it needs to muster its top two lines for an eventual run at the Cup. In the final series.
You don’t do that by virtually removing the fourth line from the mix. They’re there to keep the top two lines healthy and revivable for a possible seven game final series.
Vancouver, by not planning for the stretch?
Prepared to fail.
Here’s what Kyle Bwahan from BR had to say last weekend.
The Toronto, Ontario native looked to be a can’t miss prospect after having an unbelievable breakout season with his Ontario Hockey League Club the Brampton Battalion in the 2008-09 season.
After a failed yet promising attempt to make the Canucks roster in September of 2008, Hodgson returned to Brampton hoping to improve his skills for a better shot at making the big club the following year. Hodgson did just that in a major way.
The Brampton Battalion captain went on to lead the Canadian Under-20 club to a 2009 World Junior Championship in Ottawa. Hodgson lead the tournament with 16 points and was named to the All-Star team.
Hodgson returned to his OHL team shortly, and took his play to another level. In just 53 games the Canuck prospect earned 92 points including 43 goals. He was named CHL Player of the Year, and quietly being mentioned as a can’t-miss prospect. It seemed Vancouver might have got lucky at the draft for once, after numerous first-round busts in years pasts.
The following season, many believed Hodgson would make the jump to the NHL with the season he just posted in the minors, yet he failed to make a positive mark on the coaching staff which left him in the minors again. Hodgson again was denied a chance to play in the NHL and returned to Brampton for his final season.
Not only have the Canucks failed to develop such a promising prospect once again, but they have distinguished Hodgson’s value for trade. As many don’t really know where Hodgson is heading in his career in the NHL.
The handling over Hodgson’s development have raised many eye brows across the National Hockey League. Not every team has a player that’s been named CHL Player of the Year and a can’t-miss prospect. For the Vancouver Canucks, having Hodgson became a blessing that hasn’t panned out.
Yes, the back injury Hodgson suffered might have been the turning point in his attempt to make the Vancouver Canucks, but their hasn’t been a true push from the organization to revamp the young Hodgson’s career. A move many believe, might haunt the Canucks in years to come.
I let Kyle ramble to give you all an idea of Hodgson’s value as a player. And part of his collective history.
But there’s much more to Hodgson.
He’s a leader, solid on the power play, the penalty kill and he has an uncanny knack for aiding and abetting his linemates.
It’s time I think for Mike Gillis to take the decisions away from his coach.
There are some obvious issues between Hodgson and Vigneault.
Vigneault is young, but old school and he has some indelible ties to certain players.
Perhaps if Cody had grown up in the Ottawa Valley instead of Markham and Haliburton he might stand a better chance with this coach who has shown some distinct territorial bias when it comes to adding to this roster.
No beef with that. A coach likes to go with players he knows. And sure I’m referring to a guy like Maxim Lapierre.
I really think that Hodgson could have helped the Canucks if they had at least given that fourth line a chance to play sustained minutes.
Instead they played their off line 5 to 7 minutes per game.
They ignored the fact that the Sedins were playing huge minutes with lackluster results.
They’ve signed Lapierre for the new season.
That’s bad news for Hodgson.
So I think it’s time for the Canucks to let this kid spread his wings.
Let him go.
I can name 6 teams that could use a second line centre right now.
It’s frustrating to watch a proven scorer, leader and nice guy go so long without a shot.
And that’s the real point here.
The Canucks have never given him a shot.
Nothing but lip service and bad medical advice.
Are you listening?