Sep 152009
 
Cody Hodgson

Photo credit: The Hockey News

Here’s some good news for Canucks fans who are anxiously waiting for Cody Hodgson to take part in some preseason action:

Cody Hodgson skated Tuesday for the first time with one of the two “main” groups in a full practice. Until now he had been with the C group that had consisted of injured players (Schneider, Demitra). Hodgson has been cleared for contact and with the team having three games in three nights, heac coach Alain Vigneault says he’ll play in at least one of those games as soon as he says he’s ready.

Jun 132009
 

So, it’s been a while, eh? This lovely summer weather hit and I turned into a total blogger slacker. I do apologize my lovelies.

- The Penguins win last night delighted me. There’s a lot of guys I like individually on the Wings but I just wanted it more for the Penguins. Tangers made me weep when he mentioned Luc Bourdon and winning it with him. That is why I wanted the Penguins to pull it off. Geno Malkin was ALL KINDS of adorable in his post game interview. Oh the broken English “Big day…my life…my friends happy…I happy” Ahhhhh. So precious. I want to skip down the street arm and arm with him and have him sing me songs. Max Talbot is a folk hero and I assume he is locked up long term in Pittsburgh but damn. He and Burrows would make one sexy, charming, French Canadian sammich. Next time I’m near a fountain I’m going to wish that so hard.

- Should we talk some Swedins? Lately I’ve been calling them the soft peepers thanks to a blog friend of mine. I kind of like it. It’s pretty cute. Now, if they want 7 million, I say that’s too much cabbage. We’ll have to say hejda (that’s goodbye in Swedish). But if it’s for less than 7 let’s get it done. We need those two crazy kids. With their complexions, they wouldn’t do well in Tampa or LA or other steamy locales. I think for their skins sakes they should stay in Vancouver. Just to do our part, we should try to do everything we can to get them to sign.

Write them haikus. If they were in Swedish and scented to give a little something extra that would be even better.

Send them for massages at the Swedish Touch Massage parlour. Offer to drive the bus. Also, spring a surprise stop at IKEA for meatballs and affordable furniture. If you are at all mechanical offer to put their newly purchased affordable furniture together for them.

Buy apples and carrots for their racehorses. Oh and suger cubes. Horses love that shit.

Wash their volvos.

- The poor little Moosies were eliminated last night. Don’t worry little babies, you’re still totally rad and got further than your parent team did by a long shot. Heh. There’s always next year. Those Bears will…go into hibernation next time.

- Rumour on the street is that the Canucks have signed Sergei Shirokov and he may be coming over for training camp in the fall. Oooooh. We haven’t had a Russian in a while. I always love when the Canucks get more international. This hasn’t been confirmed so we’ll just have to wait and see but there could be some fun competition at camp. Cody Hodgson will be putting shaving cream in Michael Grabner’s skates and Grabby will be shrinking Sergei Shirokov’s sweater. Heh.

- I’m going to be at the draft in Montreal and it will be an epically good time. There will be tons of cooing over the Canucks draft picks and lots of schenanigans around Montreal. If you hear of a girl getting arrested for dancing on a table with underage defence draft picks, it’s most likely me. Send bail money if you’re so inclined.

- There’s only 110 days until the regular season starts! The Canucks will be making us cry and hit the bottle in no time at all.

May 232009
 

The accolades keep coming for Cody Hodgson. Today, the Canadian Hockey League named him The Hockey Company Player of the Year:

Hodgson scored a career-high 43 goals and 49 assists for 92 points in 53 games with a plus-minus rating of plus-41 and 33 penalty minutes. The Battalion captain led the OHL with 11 game-winning goals and had a league-high point scoring streak of 23 games from November 21 to February 11. Hodgson recorded 26 multi-point games with four hat-tricks and one five-point game November 6 in an 8-4 win over the Plymouth Whalers. He won gold with Canada at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa and led the tournament with 16 points in six games. Hodgson, a 19-year-old from Markham, ON, is a Vancouver Canucks prospect drafted 10th overall at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Also nominated was forward Brett Sonne of the Calgary Hitmen, and goaltender Nicola Riopel of the Moncton Wildcats.

For you trivia fans, he’s the first Vancouver Canucks draft pick to win the award. Dan Hodgson, the last player to wear number 16 before Trevor Linden, and Doug Wickenheiser also won the award but neither were originally drafted by the Canucks; they were drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

May 222009
 

- It appears I’m jumping on the Penguins bandwagon for the rest of the playoffs. The Wings don’t need another Cup. As much as like a bunch of their players, as a whole team I just can’t get behind them. I’ve tried embracing this crush on the Blackhawks that the NHL keeps pimpin, but I can’t do it. They’re kind of whiney and I find I giggle too much when they do badly. The Canes are pretty cool actually. But I’m chillin with the Penguins because of two things

1) MALKIN. His hat trick last night, especially the third goal, was mesmerizing. I could watch it over and over. He makes me want to learn Russian and have him over to make perogies and drink vodka. We can play his highlight video in the background. And how adorable were his parents in the stands?

2) LETANG! He is beautiful to watch skate and he has the most magical long flowing hair. I mean I really do want to ask him what product he uses because my hair never looks that good. TSN had a lovely but rather heartbreaking interview with Letang about how he still thinks of Luc Bourdon. H/T to wraparoundcurl. It’s hard to believe it was almost a year ago. RIP. You can’t help but cheer on Letang’s team, honestly.

- I’m not too fond of this Neidermayer brother rumour. I’d rather they worry about getting the identical brothers we already do have re signed. I’m not particularly fond of either of them, but even looking past my lack of fondness, I don’t think there’s enough cash. Scott would probably average what 5 or 6 million? Then his bro would probably want around 1.5/2 ish? It seems like Rob wouldn’t be much of an upgrade over the third/fourth line guys we already have. I suppose Scott by himself would make some sense. I’m still thinking Gillis walks away from this though.

- The Flyers are rumoured to have offered the Canucks Jeff Carter for Lui and the rights to negotiate with Matty Ohlund with possible other smaller profile players involved as well. Now, I am not on this weird trade Lui train at all and I know Gillis said he wouldn’t but Jeff Carter would be pretty damn nice to have around. Just close your eyes and imagine it for funsies. That wrist shot makes me purr…

- I think next season will be fun to watch with this little youth movement that’s starting to happen. Cody Hodgson and Michael Grabner have a shot to make the team. I hope Gillis manages to make offers to Jannik Hansen and Welly and Ripper. SOB was an adventure this year but was also really solid at times. I hope he gets re signed. It’s certainly not going to be boring at the very least. I’m already jonesing for new Canucks hockey. Is it September yet?

May 152009
 

- Cody Hodgson made his Moose debut tonight and scored his first pro point as the Moose took game one against the Aeros 2-1. That’s so exciting! If Canucks fans get what they’re hoping for, Cody won’t spend much time at all with the Moose, but it’s nice to see he’s fitting in so well. It sounds like Cory Scheider was great as well because the baby Canucks were outshot 32-18. It’s going to be good news for Gillis if guys like Cody, Cory, and Michael Grabner can step in for the big team next season. Game summary here

- The Canucks website is putting out specials about the mum’s trip and the players that brought their mummies and they are absolutely charming. So far we’ve learned that Willie Mitchell was in the shower when the Devils drafted him and asked his Grandma to take a message, Ryan Kesler was the only 8 year old that knew what backchecking was, Alex Burrows’ mummy asked him to speak to her class of students, and Mason Raymond knows how ride a horse and played hockey with his dog.

- Darcy Hordichuk wrote his last blog of the season and it is pretty delightful. It’s been fun learning a bit more about him behind the scenes and he really seemed to love playing in Vancouver this past year.

- Richard and J.J are doing a great job of covering the Canucks UFAs and the whole discussion over keeping Lui or not, so I figured I would do a little research about some of the baby draft picks the Canucks could possibly pick in June. I went to the draft last year and it was a total blast. These little babies in suits make me cooo. You just want them to do well. We’ve got to pass this off season somehow, so look for that in the next few days.

- My most favourite Swede and hockey boyfriend Matty Ohlund is really sounding like he’s leaving Vancouver. It makes me a sad panda but I guess all good things have to come to end eventually. He’s a classy gent and he understands and I’m sure he’ll be fab wherever he goes. But anyways, darlings, this means I’m going to be out a favourite player next season. Any thoughts on what Canuck I should line up for next season? I might do a series of posts on that later in the off season. It’s going to be jumping around here don’t you worry!

May 142009
 
May 132009
 
Apr 292009
 
Apr 282009
 

Cody Hodgson was just named OHL Player of the year.

The other day someone asked, “If given the opportunity, would you trade Hodgson for the first round pick in the 2009 draft?” (Or work a trade that included Hodgson for the first round pick)

As speculation goes there’s a snowballs chance in hell, or Patrick Stefan’s chance at scoring on an empty net breakaway, that John Tavares will not go first overall in the 2009 draft. If it’s not him, it will be Victor Hedman. Tavares amongst the class of 2009 is the standout. There’s likely no one that will match his level of talent and skill in his draft year. But, he’s no Crosby, and looks closer to Stamkos than anything else. He also draws other parallels, they both were stand outs in the World Juniors. Stamkos so far has looked like a bust, maybe Tavares will, maybe he won’t. He’s proved he can be the big fish in the little pond, now let’s see if he can roll with the big boys. He’ll likely go to St. Louis, or Tampa, the usual bottom feeders, but it takes a Crosby level player to affect a cellar dweller team. That’s what Crosby did for the pens, that’s what Stamkos failed to do for the Lightning. But for all those things that they can do, I wouldn’t give up Hodgson for either of them. It’d have to be Gretzky reborn again or the second coming of Trevor Linden for me to give up Hodgson for Tavares or Hedman.

Cody Hodgson isn’t a showstopper, a heart breaker. He’s not a one trick pony and he’s not a selfish player. I’m not saying that the greats are selfish, but when you look at a lot of the greats their shoot to pass ratio is a lot higher. This kid isn’t selfish. He’s selfless. Take a look at his play at the World Juniors. Alongside the best this country has to offer, and the best of the 2009 draft he shone bright. He set a World Juniors record with 16 points, 5 goals and 11 assists. He beat out TSN’s favourite junior John Tavares, and while people like Eberle were getting the spotlight for late game heroics, and Tavares was played over and over again on the highlight reel for his lacrosse antics with a hockey stick, Cody Hodgson was flying under the radar. Maybe flying under the radar isn’t the right term as all of those world juniors were on a public stage. But he wasn’t providing last minute one off heroics. Hodgson was solid at both ends of the ice. Hodgson was timely, Hodgson was clutch.

When the Canucks chose not to give him a shot I admit I was pretty peeved about that. In hindsight though when you look at it the Canucks are preparing Cody for something different. They already have a pre-established plan for him. Sending him back to play with the Battalion is putting him in a pond where he’s not just the big fish, he’s the king fish. He’s going back to a team that is going to look to him when and if times get tough. A team that is going to rely on him to lead them through good and bad. Cody back on the Battalion is gaining a wealth of experience as, yes I’ll say it again, he’s being moulded into Trevor v2.0. There’s nothing wrong with that. This city needs another Captain Vancouver to get teary eyed over. Cody is that guy.

Mike Gillis knows how to play his cards right. Next season if he is able to sign Mats again and is also able to bring back the Sedins you’re going to find that once again Vancouver is extremely deep at center. Hodgson is going to join a group of centers which are amongst the best at what they do, invaluable experience for our future Mr. Canuck. Hodgson has the capability of playing at a second line level very soon. The Canucks have created an environment at the moment which will prove to be enormously helpful to the development of this young talent if the pieces of the puzzle all fit. Hodgson also coming into a situation where he’s surrounded by speed will allow him to play at his level. He’s a playmaker; the World Juniors has proved that. If you place him alongside anyone but Taylor Pyatt this kid is going to produce. So placing him with two wheeling and dealing wingers such as Hansen, Burrows, Raymond or Wellwood is likely to pay dividends soon. Now I may be putting the wagon before the horse here with all this speculation but this kid has proven himself to me early on. Even with his pre-season play at the start of this campaign he made a compelling case to fill a roster spot. Had it not been for the potential arrival of Mats, our superstar center Sedin, Kesler and the fact Johnson had been picked up that summer he might have gotten a shot.

Hodgson is young and has a lot to learn, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer he’s a class act. He’s your Trevor Linden and Joe Sackic all tied into one minus the leaf blower incident. He has me excited as a fan just because of what I hope he’s capable of. He may be a little smaller and lighter than is ideal at this point but the Sedins proved to us they could bulk up and with some work Cody’s NHL level of play will match an NHL size.

While he was sent down and his chance to play at the NHL level postponed, Cody is getting opportunities that are developing him as the future leader of the Canucks. His World Juniors experience was a fantastic demonstration of his growth as a player and just another reason for Canuck fans to get excited. I’m almost positive Hodgson will have a spot in the line up next year and with the budding wealth of talent the Canucks have right now this team is getting younger, faster, and I love every second of it. Cody is coming into an environment with playmaking veteran centers to learn from and if this season’s preseason was anything to go off of Cody is the future of this franchise, now.

So, if given the opportunity, would I trade Hodgson for the first round pick in the 2009 draft? Would you?

Mar 172009
 

It’s been a good past few days for some Vancouver Canucks prospects.

2008 1st round wonderboy Cody Hodgson won a bunch of awards (batallionhockey.com with HT to ‘Nucks Misconduct):

Cody Hodgson was a multiple winner as the Brampton Battalion presented its yearly awards Sunday.

Centre Hodgson received the Ontario Hockey League team’s player of the year and most sportsmanlike player honours and also collected the Don (Hockey) Hadley Memorial Award, named for a longtime season ticketholder and presented by the Booster Brigade as the fans’ favourite player.

Defenseman Yann Sauve won one (Nathan White, Telegraph-Journal):

The Children’s Wish Foundation Fan Choice Award went to 18-year-old Vancouver Canucks prospect Yann Sauve.

“It’s a great honour to be selected by the fans and I’m happy about it. You never know what the fans think about you. When you’re playing hockey it’s not always positive things you hear from the fans. They let you know when you do bad things,” Sauve said. “I respect the fans here a lot. They’re doing a great job supporting us.”

Taylor Ellington was named the Everett Silvertips’ co-MVP (Nick Patterson, Everett Herald-Net):

The choice as the Everett Silvertips’ most valuable player was a split decision.

Right wing Shane Harper and defenseman Taylor Ellington were named the team’s co-MVPs for the 2008-09 season during the team’s annual awards ceremony following Saturday night’s game.

Harper, a 19-year-old from Valencia, Calif., became the team’s go-to offensive player during the second half of the season. Through Everett’s first 70 games Harper led the team in goals with 32 and was second in points with 66.

Ellington, a 20-year-old from Victoria, B.C., has been the team’s defensive mainstay all season long. Going into Saturday he had five goals, and 25 assists.

The Canucks then signed Ellington to his first pro contract yesterday.

And finally, Patrick White’s and Taylor Matson’s University of Minnesota Gophers advanced to the WCHA Final Five and has a shot to move on to the NCAA tournament at the end of the month. For anyone interested, their play-in game against Minnesota Duluth will be aired live on FSN Plus.

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