Sportsnet in the 1st period intermission of the Colorado-Vancouver game were discussing how it has been confirmed that Hodgson has in fact gone to seek a second medical opinion on his back after the first by the Canucks was apparently insufficient. Brian from Canucks Corner saw my tweet about what I thought and his argument is that I’m riding the kid too hard, and that divas are like Celine Dion. Granted Cody isn’t like Celine Dion, so lets refrain from calling him anything just yet.
Firstly this is a professional sports franchise. This is a franchise backed by one Francesco Aquilini, the man who publicly stated that no amount of money was too much when it came to providing this franchise with top level trainers, facilities and equipment. This is a medical staff that has dealt with handing out hockey related prognosis for years, and who deal with injuries on a day to day basis be them small sprains, or long term problems like Schneider or Demitra. This is also a team that has nothing but Hodgson’s best interests in mind. He’s a first round pick, he’s supposed to be a cornerstone to build around in the future, why would they diagnose him incorrectly?
Take a step back. They sent him down before he got his nine games. He doesn’t like it, so he goes for that extra opinion to find a reason, an excuse, or a justification because he thinks he should have made the team. What is he expecting from that? It’s not going to get him his nine games, or a playing spot on the roster. That being said, you can argue the kid just wants to take care of the injury and make sure he’s okay, prevent it from being a long term recurrence which hampers him. But again, the Canucks have nothing but his best interests in mind because he is expected to be the future of this franchise. Getting an extra opinion in my mind serves only to create friction between himself and the club.
The kid hasn’t even played his first NHL game and he’s already calling his own shots? He’s not someone that’s earned the right to do that yet. I don’t see what he’s trying to prove with this. No matter what he gets as a second opinion, it isn’t going to change the fact that he’s still going to have to play another season on the Battalion. Cody’s a victim of circumstance on a team with depth. If he was on a team like Colorado he’d likely be playing on a roster with his buddy Matt Duschene. This isn’t Colorado, and if any position has depth on the Canucks, its at center.
My issue in this if you want to define it, would revolve around his professionalism. Iain MacIntyre points out that he’s had few obstacles in his career and he’s probably left wondering why things didnt work out for him this time around. I don’t buy the “he’s just a kid” argument that everyone’s latched on to. He stopped being a kid when he was drafted by the Canucks. This is a professional league, it’s a business, it’s a place for adults, or at least adult like behavior. He’s expected to act professionally and represent the franchise, not doubt the franchise. Vigneault can sugar coat it to the public and say “He’s entitled to a second opinion” but in my eyes that’s second guessing a franchise that is above him and knows more about this game than he does.
He was sent down, he should go down and bide his time. Work on his game, rehab his back, fight to impress for the captaincy of the World Junior team this winter, and have in his mind nothing but positive progress towards cracking the lineup next season. This doesn’t question his character, his work ethic, or his play. This is simply a matter (in my mind) of his ego. Yes he’s 19, yes he’s a kid, but that doesn’t factor into this. Why he would want to start to rub the club the wrong way is against me. This isn’t going to fragment the team’s relationship with him in any dramatic way at all, but getting picky at such a young age irks me.
I want nothing more than for this kid to come up, to prove me wrong, smash any and all records, win a Calder, create magic we haven’t seen in forever, and take us to a Cup. I speak with tongue in cheek when I this next part, but what will he be doing next? Demanding a trade to San Jose?