Rob The Hockey Guy

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I still don’t like the Cody Hodgson trade

It’s been over a year since the Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian trade, and I’m still not happy about it.

I have noticed that there’s an increasingly large faction on Twitter that is trying to re-write history, trying to dismiss Hodgson’s strong play from last season despite what we all saw. Nobody criticized his play before the trade, but after the trade a movement began to theorize that he was put in favourable situations and that’s the reason why he succeeded.

Was Hodgson put in favourable situations last year? The advanced stats people will have you believe this, and I believe them. But Hodgson succeeded with those favourable minutes, and to say that anyone would have succeeded with those minutes is ludicrous. If it was that easy, every team’s third line centre would have 20 goals.

This season, Cody Hodgson is playing on the first line in Buffalo and is second in team scoring (even though he isn’t playing on the first unit power play). He has the plum position of playing with Tomas Vanek, thus putting him in a position to succeed. And succeed he has with 21 points in 25 games. Despite the criticism of being a terrible defensive player, he is a respectable -1 rating on a bad Buffalo team.

The funny thing about being put in a position to succeed is that not everyone does. Jordan Schroeder plays on the power play more than Hodgson and is on the first unit at the moment, yet he has only 5 points.

I don’t like the Cody Hodgson trade, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like Zack Kassian. He is a big, strong player with good hands and is the type of player that is difficult to acquire… That is, if Kassian develops into the player we all hope he will. A big strong winger that scores 30 goals is hard to acquire, a big strong winger that scores 10 goals is relatively easy to acquire.

At the moment, Kassian has good potential. But is he a second line winger on a championship team? I’m not sure he is. I think he shows good vision, but he only has 3 assists. Until Kassian develops into a regular scoring threat and a fixture on the Canucks’ second line, this trade is not good for the Canucks today. And the Canucks are trying to win the cup today.

A big, gritty winger is nice to have. But so is a talented centre who can score.

Cody Hodgson without a doubt would have helped the Canucks more in last year’s playoffs (where Zack Kassian ended up as a healthy scratch) and he would help them more this season. If Kassian ends up being more valuable in the playoffs then I’ll have to reconsider, but I just don’t think he will, at least not this season. And if that is the case, then that is two years of the Canucks window where they have hurt their chances of hoisting the Stanley Cup by making this trade.

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5 Response to I still don’t like the Cody Hodgson trade

  1. John on March 12, 2013

    If the Canucks are healthy Hodgson doesn't really have a proper spot on this team and there are indications that he wanted out. Is it that you don't like the fact that Hodgson was traded or is it that you don't like what the got for him? n n

    • Rob on March 17, 2013

      I think Hodgson would make a fine 3rd line centre, or at least should have been tried on the wing with Kesler. n nI don't like that Hodgson was traded and I don't like that they got someone that doesn't help enough in the short term. But most of all I hate that they traded him at the trading deadline. I think they could have made that deal in the summer.

      • John on March 18, 2013

        I'm slowly coming around to your point of view. I am not as upset about Cody Hodgson being traded as you are and I'm not sure his defense is good enough, at the moment, to be an effective bottom-six forward. But I'm with you in hating how the trade happened. The trade definitely could have been done in the summer, or perhaps even later, and I have to believe that Gillis could have found a better return somewhere. Also, with all the injuries, if Hodgson was still here here would be plenty of top-six minutes for him. n nIt reminds me a little of the Grabner trade. It was clear that he didn't have a spot on the team and the Canucks were going to lose him on waivers but a good GM should be able to find more value in tough situations like that. n nGillis' trading record is beginning to wear down my faith a bit.

  2. Jeremy on March 12, 2013

    I tend to agree. I've warmed considerably to Kassian since the deal, but I never got the fans who went with the 'they inflated his stats!' lede. As you say, Vigneault put Hodgson in a position to succeed, and it seems to me that's what coaches are meant to do: find out what makes your players successful, and do that. Watching his game since junior, and his fantastic performance in the World Jr's, I still think Cody has the potential to develop into a Sakic-like player, with his mature, level-headed approach and natural skill. Hey may never get there, but I'm sorry we won't get to see him try in Vancouver.

  3. Ibby on April 9, 2014

    It was the one trade that Gillis got right. Kassian is taking time to develop but will finish 2013-14 with at least 27 points and if plus/minus counts for anything will be about a -3 or 4. For a guy that has been playing 12-15 minutes on the fourth line with offensively challenged linemates, I'd say he's done well with 27 points. He's big, can skate and has deft passing hands. Hodgson is up at 43 points and will thrive offensively but shows no signs of physicality and is still defensively abysmal. He seems to avoid contact and his skating skills aren't great either.


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