Sunday, August 30, 2009

The buzz around Vancouver lately is about how Cody Hodgson, the can't miss prospect and future of our franchise, got cut despite being a sure thing to make the roster. TSN has even gone on to say that he'll be tops in rookie points this season. Thats a lot of pressure for someone who never earned his spot. I was lucky enough to go to every single home pre-season game in Vancouver this year and I must say that I agree with the coaching decision made.

Arriving at 6pm when the doors open we were able to go right to the tunnel where the players would come out, and low and behold who would come out... Cody Hodgson. He would walk out, bouncing a tennis ball or drinking a bottle of water. He would go to the bench unharmed but when he turned around to go back he would be mobbed by the fans, signing autographs and getting pictures taken with kids. I of course never bothered him because I grew up in a hockey city and I know the general response to male fans. If you're not a female, or a kid then hockey players don't really acknowledge you unless they HAVE to. But I digress.

Watching him for four straight home games get mobbed by fans it was obvious that he was letting it get to his head. Personally I think that you should be in a dressing room with your teammates figuring out strategies or just simply getting amped up for the upcoming game. In a local newspaper Hodgson was quoted as saying "I am constantly thinking of offensive strategies when I am out there." Which is hard to do when you're getting mobbed by fans. I recorded a video of the team coming out for pre-game practice and he high fived every fan. When he would stop to take a water break, he would look into the stands, and acknowledge anyone who yelled out 'CODY'. Shane O'Brien is guilty of that too, and that's why you'll see him the odd man out in the defensive log jam we have.. but that's a topic for another day.

His head wasn't in the right place and he has to learn QUICKLY that Vancouver is a very demanding city to play in. Fans here will quickly turn on any star player if they do not perform and sadly he never during this Pre-Season. After his first game versus Edmonton, I said "Yup. He's getting cut." because it was so obvious he lacked focus. There is no doubt in my mind that Hodgson will be an amazing player for this franchise, but until he learns to ignore the fans and focus more on his game he will continue to struggle at the NHL level.



with help from cody bown?