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03-20-2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by opendoor View Post
But that's not the issue. Hodgson wanted (or demanded depending on whom you believe) top 6 ice time right now. If he was to stay on the Canucks he'd have to be given 2nd line C ice time even with a healthy Kesler. A team that has designs on winning the cup cannot have a player at his current abilities getting the defensive responsibilities that a top 6 player must handle. A supposed elite team simply cannot have a top 6 center who they have to shelter or build their entire lineup around to overcome his weaknesses.

He may be able to improve over time to the point where he can be a good enough 2 way player to be a top 6 center on a great team but he's not there yet.
I'm not sure I completely agree with your assessment of Hodgson, but only because I think he has an interesting skillset. I completely agree that in terms of possession, he's well below what you'd want right now. I would argue that the Buffalo defense is pretty miserable, though, so it's not completely surprising. But he's got an elite shot.

More importantly, to me the ice time request was also about his issues with Vigneault and management over how his injury was handled. I think that was just the easy way out of the team and that's why his agent pursued it so hard.

You're right that just building a line around a player's deficiencies is difficult to do, but I also think smart asset management is about that, to some extent. Hodgson might always be a guy that needs wingers that play better defense than he does -- I completely agree. He might be a 12-15% shooter who needs guys like Kesler/Ott on his wing, but I'm not sure a line like that couldn't be a good 2nd line right now on a good team.

At the very least, he seems like a player that can be a 1st unit PP guy, play secondary forward minutes, and provide good value to a team, depending on what his contract is.

The real question is whether Gillis got the right value back, in my opinion. At a certain point, moving him was a foregone conclusion. We'll see.

Personally, I really like watching Hodgson, if only because I'm curious to see how he develops. He really does have a ridiculously good shot, so he might overcome some of these obstacles.

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