2008 NHL Entry Draft, Round One

The hysteria of the Hodgson trade has finally winded down. But now that the dust has settled and psychotic panic has been put to rest, rumors are starting to pop up. The kind that make Hodgson look a bit less pretty than in the photo of him Vancouver kept on the mantle. From the sounds of it, Hodgson wanted out. He asked to be traded.

Hodgson’s agent Rich Winters (@HockeyAgentDad) is defending CoHo to the bitter end. At first, he said Cody didn’t ask for anything at all. Then he tweeted:

“For the record, Cody Hodgson did not ask for the trade. Like others, he had many meetings with his coaches on his role. Then trade. That’s it.”

Now he insists that all he asked for was additional ice time. It feels like a slippery slope and casts a strong shadow of doubt on Hodgson’s innocence.

But regardless of what Cody’s agent had to say, Mike Gillis and the Canucks organization could have easily quelled all rumors surrounding the matter. And Mike Gillis, in all of his infinite wisdom, says… drumroll please… “No Comment”.

Pump the brakes.

There are two possible reasons for Gillis’ response:

1)   Cody requested the trade and Gillis is protecting Hodgson from Vancouver’s less than forgiving fan-base
2)   Cody never asked for the trade

If Cody asked, good on Gillis for being the kind of GM that has his players’ backs. But if Cody didn’t ask for the trade, why didn’t Gillis just say no? Hold onto your Hodgson jerseys, things are about to get real.

By saying “no comment”, Gillis has managed to answer the question as “yes” while simultaneously dodging the finger pointing that goes along with that kind of allegation. He has created room for speculation from the media and shifted the focus off the decisions of the Canucks management. He has also eased the pressure off his newest recruits, Kassian and Gragnani.

With his answer, or lack thereof, Gillis tainted Vancouver’s mental image of Hodgson as the cute homegrown hero. Now, lurking in the recesses of our minds, is the idea that Cody may have been a traitor. And that inkling of doubt regarding Hodgson’s character softens the blow of him leaving the Canucks.

At the end of the day, anyone who has listened to Hodgson’s post-trade reaction would be hard pressed to believe the kid saw it coming. He was absolutely devastated. But whether Gillis’ motives were honest or underhanded, his lack of comment has accomplished far more than a yes or no answer ever could.

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Dean Brookstone 

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