Tonight’s game featuring the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres will be a reunion for the two new faces to both teams, Cody Hodgson and Zack Kassian.
As a fan of Cody Hodgson’s since he was drafted in 2008, I can’t even begin to tell you my own personal shock when he was traded on Monday.
It was unquestionably the hardest Vancouver trade I’ve ever had to accept as a reality, and that’s saying something for an organization which has traded players like Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure, and Todd Bertuzzi. Unlike that trifecta of players, we don’t yet know what Cody Hodgson will one day be, and it’s disheartening that we won’t see what he will become in a Vancouver uniform.
So tonight’s game will be the final time this year that fans will see Hodgson and the Canucks share a single sheet of ice, and with that comes a little finality; maybe after tonight even the most loyal Hodgson fans can let him go and stop looking at Zack Kassian as “the player we traded Cody Hodgson for”.
Regardless of the locale, each newly-acquired player deserves a shot to start anew, and Kassian will be no different. Having fans and media in a hockey fishbowl just like Vancouver uttering both Hodgson and Kassian’s names in the same sentence will only serve as a distraction if we let it linger too long.
The Canucks can ill-afford a distraction during the franchise’s most crucial stage in years. Vancouver is in the business of winning the Stanley Cup this year; that’s what made trading Hodgson a necessity in the first place.
So after Saturday night, Canucks fans, stop grieving. We’re going to have to move on. We know that Hodgson will.