Cody, we hardly knew ya. Trade of Hodgson was a surprise and a risk.

Cody Hodgson - Rich Lam / Getty Images
Cody Hodgson’s days in Vancouver are done. – Photo: Richard Lam/Getty Images

When I heard the news that Cody Hodgson had been traded, I can’t say I was genuinely shocked; disappointed would be more accurate. After patiently waiting as a fan for Hodgson to work his way through a back injury and a lack of ice time, this season saw the reward for that patience and perhaps a glimpse at the player the Canucks gave up today.

The depth on the Canucks had a lot to do with this trade. With Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler ahead of him, it was unlikely Hodgson would move up the depth chart in the near future. That depth issue alone could have been the fuel behind today’s move, but with a fan base that has seen few of its draft picks over the years really blossom into stars, you can excuse Canucks nation for being a little sad and somewhat skeptical today.

Zack Kassian may well prove to be a player himself. The 21 year old winger is big and strong but still finding his way in the NHL. He certainly adds some toughness to the lineup, but at the expense of Cody Hodgson’s offence, which isn’t expected to be countered by the addition of Samuel Pahlsson, a 34 year old defensive specialist. The Canucks may have been pushed around by the Bruins in last year’s finals, but they also had a problem scoring goals.

There is talk on the airwaves and online, speculation if you will, that Cody Hodgson or his representatives may have requested a deal. The Canucks of course are saying they don’t comment on internal matters, while Hodgson seemed genuinely stunned by the deal itself, besides expressing that it would be nice to be playing closer to home.

The jury is out on whether this was a good trade for the Canucks. Former Canucks coach Marc Crawford liked the deal saying that the Canucks addressed a need with the deal.

“Cody Hodgson is a better skill player than the skill player they brought back, but they need to be a playoff-style team,” Crawford said. “They’re going to have to play in very physical games in the playoffs. You need players like Samuel Pahlsson and Zack Kassian.”

Others, like Craig Button, thought the Canucks strayed from what makes them successful and pointed to a consistent cup contender in his reasoning.

“I’m not going to call the Vancouver Canucks losers, but when you have one series against the Boston Bruins (albeit an important one) continually in your mind and now you’re making moves based on that, I don’t like those types of moves. While Kassian is a big, strong winger, I think Hodgson is too good. The Detroit Red Wings never give up on their identity which is skill and competitiveness and Hodgson brings that,” Button said.

Hodgson’s progression with the Canucks was slowed by a back misdiagnosed back injury and his relationship with the team got odd to a bit of a rocky start. But it seemed as though all of that was behind both sides, and Hodgson was becoming the player the Canucks had hoped they had drafted. His name hadn’t really been mentioned in trade rumours leading up to the deadline.

So now Canucks fans sit and wait again, hoping that Zack Kassian develops into the player the Canucks think he can be for them.

They’ll also hope that the trade of offence for defence today will help them accomplish what they came within a game from doing last year.

Contest: Win two tickets to the Canucks Superskills event at Rogers Arena.

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED: Congratulations to Andrew Qua, who was randomly selected as our winner from his entry on Twitter!

One of the great family events that take place each season is the Canucks Superskills competition held annually at Rogers Arena. Canuck players all take part in various skill drills such as accuracy, fastest skater, breakaways and more.

The Vancouver Canucks have offered us two tickets to give away to a luck reader and you don’t have to be a fast skater or a target sniper to win them.

All you have to do is RT this message for one entry:

“I want to win tickets to the #Canucks Superskills competition via @VanCanucks and @CanucksCorner! #ccskills http://tinyurl.com/7vh6f8w”

For a bonus entry, leave a comment  on this page on a new event you would like to see at the Skills Competition and what Canucks player you think would win it!

There are still great seats available to the event and you can get them at Ticketmaster.

We’ll announce our winner on Friday January 20th. The winner will need to pick up the tickets at the Will Call window at Rogers Arena.

Canucks Superskills, powered by Rogers:

WHERE: Rogers Arena

WHEN: Sunday, January 22, 2012 (Doors open at 12:00pm)

WHO: All Canucks players

TICKETS: Starting at $10 (plus HST and applicable convenience fees)

Canucks Wagonwatch: Game 40 vs Sharks

Throughout the season, the Canucks Wagonwatch series will track how much room is on the team’s bandwagon. In addition, it will also track the completely separate Luongo wagon.

The Sharks were well rested, as the last time they played was December 28 in a 3-2 OT loss to Vancouver. Meanwhile, the Canucks have played twice since then, winning in Anaheim, and losing in Los Angeles. After the playoff-like atmosphere that last time these clubs met a few days ago, tonight’s game was a little disappointing in that regard.

Canucks Bandwagon: 80% full

After the last game versus the Sharks in San Jose, I expected a similar energy level from both clubs, but there were very few stretches of good play from either team. Even though the shot totals were good, it felt like there weren’t that many solid scoring chances for the Canucks. The had good secondary scoring from Hansen and Hodgson, but the top 2 lines couldn’t beat Niemi tonight.

Luongo Bandwagon: 70% full

Sometimes I am guilty of listening to the Team 1040 post game, which brings all kinds of crazy callers. The first caller after the Kings game immediately called out Luongo, calling him a flopper and a incapable of standing up to make a save. Haters gonna hate, but for better or worse, Luongo is held to a higher standard than the rest of the team. He was pretty good tonight against the Sharks, and made some nice saves – including one lunging from right to left to stop Joe Thornton from 6 feet. He even made two saves in the dreaded shootout, but couldn’t stop Handzus with the game on the line. Canucks shooters were 0-for-3 in the shootout tonight, but in Vancouver, people don’t blame the shooters for a shootout loss.

#Coho4Calder is Back, and The Honey Badger Keeps Eating

Jannik Hansen maybe shouldn’t have scored on that mad scramble, but he was rewarded for his hard work tonight. The first assist on Hansen’s goal was from Cody Hodgson. It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for Coho, so it was extra sweet to see Hodgson get rewarded tonight with 1G 1A, and even played out the final seconds in OT. We’re not so deluded to think that Hodgson has a shot at the Nuge Trophy .. er .. Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year, because he’s not that kind of a flashy player, and the Canucks are loaded at Center with Henrik and Kesler eating up the top minutes. If you consider that – then 12-13 minutes isn’t bad for a 3rd line center on this team, which could roll all 4 lines successfully on most nights.

I honestly believe that Hodgson will be one of the key pieces of this hockey club in the future – he’s lucky to be an understudy to two of the great centers in the game today – Captain Henrik is the soft spoken pure passer, and Kesler is the shutdown guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. Just because we are massive Cody Hodgson fans, this video should give you something to drool over.

Contest: Skate with the Canucks at Rogers Arena

Update: This contest is now closed! Congratulations to Kailey Ransom, the winner of our Sun Life / Vancouver Canucks “Skate with the Canucks” contest. Kailey won via Twitter! She’ll have the chance to skate at Rogers arena with three friends, Canucks players and alumni.

On Saturday, January 14th, 2012, Sun Life Financial is sponsoring Skate with the Canucks. This event will give fans a chance to skate with current Canuck players as well as alumini at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks and Sun Life Financial were kind enough to offer one CanucksCorner.com reader and up to three of their friends a chance to participate.

This is obviously a great opportunity for any Canucks fan and there are two ways you can enter via CanucksCorner.com:

  • Leave a comment below and tell us how you became a Canucks fan. (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry):

RT to enter for a chance to Skate with the #Canucks at Rogers Arena via @VanCanucks & @CanucksCorner http://tinyurl.com/8a5fbx7 #CCSkate

The deadline to enter is Saturday, January 7th, 2012 at 12:00 noon. A random winner from the total number of entries will be drawn and announced soon after.

Good luck!

Please note:

  • All participants must provide their own helmet and pair of skates.
  • At least one member of the 2011/2012 Vancouver Canucks and Canucks Alumni will be on the ice at the event.
  • Official and additional eligibility rules can be found here.

Bruce Ng: Canucks Wagon Watch: Game 33 versus Minnesota

Luongo tells the fickle fans how he really feels.

Throughout the season, the Canucks Wagonwatch series will track how much room is on the team’s bandwagon. In addition, it will also track the completely separate Luongo wagon.

The Wild played the first half of a back-to-back set tonight, playing in Calgary tomorrow night. The Wild started off with a strong first period, but were down 1-0 after one period after they gave up late goal to the Canucks power play. It wasn’t a typical Canucks power play goal, as it came off a rush and was scored by Henrik Sedin. The 2nd period saw the Canucks score 2 more. The Canucks 3rd goal was particularly nice – Sedin to Sedin to Burrows.
Canucks Bandwagon: 85% full

After Saturday’s big win in Toronto, I expected the Canucks to come out a little flat – the road trip hangover effect – but was pleasantly surprised to see them put in a good effort. The Sedins were particularly effective – beautiful passing tonight – for 6 points between the twins. John Shorthouse and John Garrett indicated that it would be tough to pick the 3 Stars for the game – Luongo, and the Sedins seemed about right from a statistics point of view, but many other Canucks looked pretty good tonight.

Luongo Bandwagon: 70% full

Luongo was full credit for the win and the shutout tonight – holding his team in the game early in the 1st period, as the Canucks were outshot in the opening frame. After the Canucks scored at the end of the first, the Wild were not able to generate much pressure, or many scoring chances. No such thing as an easy shutout, and Luongo did well to maintain his focus. Maybe the haters will say he looked awkward in the 1st. Or that he shouldn’t have looked over his shoulder in the 3rd. Not much to complain about in this one, as Luongo made it look easy. Very good positionally, and very economical movement. Another 3 shutouts in a row, and who knows, maybe the wagon will be at capacity. Or maybe not.

What the Honey Badger wants, the Honey Badger gets

It is more than a mere rumour that the Canucks have animal nicknames for each of their players (reference: Pass It To Bulis). Jannik Hansen is known as the Honey Badger. Tonight the Honey Badger scored his 11th goal of the season; his previous season high was 9 – done twice. Hansen is looking more like a player that can provide some serious secondary scoring, along with speed and good physical play. At this pace he will have between 20 and 30 goals.

Hansen is given the Honey Badger moniker because he plays with a tenacious and fearless style. If you watch this video, and if you’ve seen Hansen play, you will understand it.