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Canucks and Beyond

Is Cody Hodgson Getting Shafted?

The Vancouver Province’s Tony Gallagher takes issue with Canucks coach Alain Vigneault today, with an aggressive column questioning AV’s decision to ship Hodgson to Calgary yesterday for the opening pre-season set.

In a year when second-line centre Ryan Kesler is hurt and there is finally an opportunity to get the gifted prospect a bona fide look in a top six spot in his right position, the first signal the player gets from his coach is yet another shot across the bow.

After eating all that humble pie by publicly stating that he wasn’t going to worry about how he was used and that he was going to concentrate on making sure he had the right attitude and worry about his own game, the first thing his coach does is send him to Calgary on the day of the game and start him with a couple of stiffs in Victor Oreskovich and Mike Duco.

What can possibly be achieved by this other than annoy Hodgson?

While I’m not convinced that dropping Hodgson in with Oreskovich and Duco for a pre-season game was intentionally that big a diss, I’ll concede Gallagher’s point in general. There’s a lot riding on Cody Hodgson, and you have to wonder if the team is wasting it. (Reading the whole article, Gallagher points to a multitude of issues relating to the handling of Hodgson’s development.)

Incidentally—and surprisingly—Gallagher also draws a target on Mike Gillis in this matter, too. Surprising, because Gallagher often seems more like the GM’s personal apologist than critic in recent years. But the Hodgson issue clearly has him riled up.

What is it with Vigneault that he insists upon putting Hodgson in positions whereby failure is the most likely outcome? What’s up with this guy, and why does GM Mike Gillis just stand by and watch his first ever draft pick get shafted?

Is Hodgson truly getting “shafted” or are Vigneault’s tactics defensible from a hockey point of view? 

Obviously we aren’t privy to all the reasons why the coaching staff makes the decisions that they do, and I’m sure there are plenty of factors affecting Hodgson’s role with the Canucks beyond any personal feelings AV might have about his young prospect. 

But I will say that we’ve seen AV make things personal in the past, in a way that doesn’t always seem like it’s the best choice for the team, so Gallagher might be onto something.


Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, cody+hodgeson, mike+gillis


GZ Expat's avatar

Wonder what Oreskovich and Duco think of being called a ‘stiff’ by Gallagher?

Regardless of who CoHo is stuck with…he has to make things happen on the ice.  Play his game…be smart defensively…hustle…do all the little things that endear a player to AV.  Thus far, he hasn’t really done any of that…  It’s up to CoHo if he makes the team…not AV.

**and, you know me…I am by no means an AV fan…but, I haven’t liked what I have seen out of CoHo**

Posted by GZ Expat on 09/21/11 at 07:05 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

It’s up to CoHo if he makes the team…not AV.

I agree, you’re absolutely right. I just wonder about AV’s tactics sometimes, if he’s unnecessarily antagonistic, and thereby hindering the process of readying a star prospect rather than guiding him to get there quicker. 

If Hodgson needs more development in the minors, so be it, but I’d sure like to know that AV at least wants the player to succeed. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 09/21/11 at 07:29 PM ET

GZ Expat's avatar

You see…now it all comes full circle back to the type of people manager AV is.  Clearly, he clicks with some…most notably, the core of the current team; the twins, Bieksa, Kesler, Burrows and the late Rick Rypien…and there are others in which a wall goes up and it seems as though the damage is done quickly; Shane O’Brien, Markus Naslund, Matthew Schneider, Keith Ballard…and I sort of felt to a certain extent Trevor Linden (all those painful healthy scratches in his final year).

As a manager, I’ve got to find a way to make them ALL successful, as it reflects on my performance.  If I don’t, then I don’t look so good.  But, there are plenty of managers around me in which their philosophy is to make themselves look good and be damned with the others…AV’s actions sometimes fit that bill.

NOW…back to my original argument…you can’t point fingers at someone else for your own lack of success.  YOU have to make it happen on your own.  CoHo needs to find a way to impress through his play…anything less would be a disservice to himself and all the training he has done to get to this point.

Posted by GZ Expat on 09/21/11 at 07:40 PM ET

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About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]

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