I let things cool down a little since my last Hodgson post, but now comes the decision of what happens to him for the upcoming season. Firstly I think it’s absurd that the rules of the AHL, NHL and OHL collude such that a player who’s drafted by an NHL team who is able to play at the NHL level, is not allowed to play for their minor league affiliate.
The fact that it’s ludicrous that Hodgson should go down and play in the OHL instead of being allowed to suit up for the Moose aside, the Canucks made 8 cuts at practice today and Hodgson is still with the team.
I slagged Hodgson for dogging it, saying he was taking for granted a spot on the team and questioned his character likening him less to Canucks fans beloved Trevor and more so to – well I won’t drive another knife into the soul of you Hodgson lovers by putting a name there. The fact of the matter is, I wasn’t buying the hype and once the excuses of a back injury were dismissed Cody did one thing: He proved to us he’s not bigger than the hype, yet. He proved my point and which was that he’s not the golden wonder boy everyone was making him out to be. At least not yet.
So does he get nine games?
The way I look at it, the Canucks have so much depth it’s not necessary to bring up a guy like Cody for 9 games. Depth aside, the Canucks have players that have a chemistry in place, and for 9 games to start the season I just don’t think it’s worth it. The beginning of the season is about getting players to gel on the ice, and players like Samuelsson who are trying to click with team mates need all the time they can get. You can give Cody nine games now and say it goes towards his player development, but if you’re sending him back to the OHL where the level of play is so much lower than the NHL is that nine games really going to make a difference if it’s going to be another 365 days from game number nine until he gets his next NHL game? I’d rather see him go down to the OHL and have the team start forming that chemistry now.
If anything, Cody would get value from nine games that are during that time, down the stretch to cover injuries. Use him then so that he can get NHL experience that will give him a real gut check. Down the stretch anything can go wrong. Injuries come out of nowhere and losing points at that stage can be critical in making the playoffs or not. However that’s not possible. Winning the extra points early in the season when you have a healthy squad can make a huge difference in the long run even though it goes unnoticed. If Cody’s out there playing making the mistakes he made in some of his pre-season showings that could be the difference in a tie-break, or could mean the difference between home ice in the playoffs.
If the kid’s going to have to spend most of his time in the OHL, save everyone the hassle and keep him down there. Let the big boys do their thing. Once you send Hodgson down you can’t bring him back up unless the Battalion are out of the playoffs assuming the Canucks are still playing at that point. I think it’s futile to bring him up for 9 games, and would rather see the roster develop and gel from game one, versus from game nine after he’s relocated.