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.

Canucks Acquire Andrew Alberts (Defenseman) For 3rd Round Pick in 2010

The Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenseman Andrew Alberts  in exchange for a 3rd round pick in 2010. Alberts has 10 points this season (2G, 8A) and is a plus sevin after appearing in 62 games for Carolina. Alberts is a big defenseman at 6’5 218 pounds and has played 4 seasons in the NHL.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/players/Andrew_Alberts

Stay tuned for more information.

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Canucks Deal Mathieu Schneider To Phoenix For Sean Zimmerman/6th Round Pick

The Vancouver Canucks have acquired Sean Zimmerman a conditional 6th round draft pick  in exchange for defenseman Mathieu Schneider. Schneider was currently playing for the clubs minor league affiliate in Winnipeg after a dispute over playing time with the Canucks. The deal is apparently dependant on Schneider clearing re-entry waivers.

Stay tuned for more information.

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What To Do With The Suddenly Dynamic Demitra?

Jason KuryloJoin us in welcoming our newest contributor to CanucksCorner.com, Jason Kurylo. Jason is a sports fan who has a writing background and a passion for the Canucks. We put out a call for writers on Twitter, and Jason answered. In his first blog for the site, Jason looks at the successful Olympics for Pavol Demitra and wonders what the Canucks options should be in dealing with the veteran Slovak and NHLer going forward.

We were treated to some pretty outstanding hockey in the Olympic tournament, of course, topped nicely by Captain Roberto Luongo preserving Canadian pride against Ryan Kesler’s second period goal and second intermission trash talk. Gold north of 49, thank you very much, and silver for our American brethren to the south.

In fact, Canucks figured in each of the top five teams in the tournament. (Sorry, Christian Ehrhoff fans, but your boy’s German team finished a distant 11th. The man can’t do it alone.)

Sami Salo helped Finland pick up its fifth men’s ice hockey medal since 1988 — his second, as he took home a silver in Torino in 2006. Side note: the Finns have more medals in men’s ice hockey in that time than any other nation. That’s right, the Finns.

They won’t be happy about it, but Henrik and Daniel Sedin didn’t get a sniff at medals this time round, despite taking gold outright last time round. They were knocked out by… the Slovaks?

The biggest surprise of the tournament wasn’t Canada taking gold, Crosby scoring in OT or even Marty stumbling to allow Luongo into the big show. It was the play of the Slovakian team, led by — get those questions marks ready again — Pavol Demitra?

Demitra’s performance since returning from off-season shoulder surgery has been mediocre at best. His slow feet and stone hands have brought to mind Mats Sundin’s slow mid-season re-entry to the NHL just a year ago. Sure, Demo tipped a shot home and scored in the shootout against the Bruins a week before the tournament. But other than that game, his spot on the roster has been largely wasted. After missing a couple of games to attend to a family illness, the 35-year-old Demitra, he of the $4 million annual salary, came back on Valentine’s Day to find himself on the fourth line.

So who predicted Pavol Demitra would not only lead his country to its best-ever Olympic showing, but that he would lead the Olympic tournament in scoring?

Cynics in Vancouver, myself included, pointed at his last-second miss against the Canadians in the semis: “There’s the Demitra we’re used to.” Luongo’s amazing glove save aside, Pavol’s inspired play for the Slovaks included a shootout winner over the Russians and a goal and two assists in what Demitra called “the biggest win in my country’s history” over the defending champs from Sweden. The ten points are six more than he’s put up with the Canucks this year, against much tougher competition. Then again, he was also playing with guys like Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik and Zdeno Chara.

The argument, then, is either for moving Demo back on to one of the top two lines — would the Sedins have him after that quarter final game? — or move him off the squad altogether. Don’t be surprised if this is one salary dump that gets done before the March 3 deadline. Either that, or Mike Gillis needs to get a Slovak flag hung in the rafters, STAT.

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