Canucks and Beyond

Is Cody Hodgson Getting Shafted?

09/21/2011 at 6:38pm EDT

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.

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