Ever the lightning rod for controversy, Richard called Cody Hodgson a prima donna in a post yesterday. Because Hodgson’s age means that he’ll either make the team or be sent back to junior, Richard feels that Hodgson has been dogging it during preseason under the impression that he won’t go back to the league where he won CHL Player of the Year.
Let me get this straight – Cody Hodgson is NOT a prima donna. Far from it. I don’t know how anyone can blame him of being one after a season in which he excelled in the OHL, played in the AHL postseason, and won gold in the World Juniors. From what we’ve seen, he’s answered the call wherever it’s been.
There is a big difference between dogging it in practice and simply not being on par with the rest of the boys. The fact that he’s a step slower and has shown an occasional tendency to throw away the puck doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. It simply means he’s not quite ready for prime time.
It’s entirely likely his back injury, which sidelined him for most of the summer, has played a role in his less-than-stellar preseason. But the bigger question is where the Canucks feel he’s best suited at this point of his development. If they feel he’s ready to play – or develop better – with the big boys, he’ll stay with the team; if they don’t, he’ll go back to Brampton. And in the event he does make the team – which, IMHO, is unlikely anyway – it doesn’t make him a prima donna; it just means the Canucks feel he’s likely to get better with them.