Last night – more than four months since playing his last hockey game – Cody Hodgson finally suited up for the Brampton Battalion. He recorded two assists and was named the game’s first star.
Not a bad first game back. And when Canucks fans read about his return this morning, surely we were excited, eh? Well, hang on now.
In a conference call, Hodgson — who assisted on two goals in his Brampton Battalion junior club’s 4-2 win over Erie on Thursday — said he felt great to be back after an emotional four months away from the game while he rehabbed an injured back.
But Hodgson, in his first public statements since the highly touted Canucks prospect was returned to junior on Sept. 28, said the Vancouver organization has had no input into the treatment of his ailing back since he was sent down. He added that he won’t be working further with Gagner, in whose training facility in London, Ont., Hodgson originally hurt his back last July.
While Hodgson said he didn’t want to dwell on the past, it confirms what many have suspected — that Hodgson and his camp were not happy with the Canucks and Gagner after the injury occurred.
“Most of my rehab has been independent, through Dr.(Tony) Miniaci in Cleveland and doctors in Toronto and the trainer here in Brampton,” said Hodgson.
“In the summer I won’t be training with Mr. Gagner.”
More from Jamieson:
Asked why he wouldn’t be training with Gagner, with whom he’s worked the previous two summers since the Canucks drafted him, Hodgson said: “I feel I have good trainers I can work with in Toronto.”
This creates a problem for Canucks GM Mike Gillis, who has a prospect who apparently doesn’t want to work with his player development director. Gillis didn’t immediately return a call to The Province.
I think it’s understandable that Hodgson wants to work with his own trainer. And if that’s the only issue, then I think we can stop reading more into what he said at the press conference. However, if the issue is deeper than that – i.e. if Hodgson refuses to work with his team’s Director of Player Development – then the Canucks may have a problem. Add to this any bad blood from coach Alain Vigneault’s criticisms after Hodgson sought medical opinion independent from the Canucks, then there may be some real trouble in paradise.