Make no mistake, Cody Hodgson's relationship with the Vancouver Canucks was rocky at best. Injuries, a question of his committment at times and now, they say goodbye.
Of all the trades on this deadline day, the most intriguing without a doubt was the deal that sent, Canucks first round pick in 2008, Cody Hodgson to Buffalo for their first round selection in 2009, Zack Kassian. With no disrespect to Alexander Sulzer and Marc Andre Gragnani, who were also involved in the same transaction, this deal was all about Hodgson and Kassian. Hodgson was sent away at a time where the Canucks patience with the one time 10th overall selection seemed to have finally paid off. Hodgson is a rookie of the year candidate. He packed his bags for Buffalo with an impressive 33 points and was showing the hockey world why he was so coveted coming out of junior hockey.
To me, the former Brampton Battallion star was playing his best hockey since a sensational World Junior performance in Ottawa in which he delivered 16 points in six games, and should have been named the tournament's MVP. The Canucks are deep down the middle, and added to their arsenal earlier in the day when they obtained former Stanley Cup champion, Samuel Pahlsson, from Columbus.
In return, the Stanley Cup finalists add a 21 year old power forward, in Kassian who also has alot of potential. The former Memorial Cup champion with the Windsor Spitfires is nothing like Hodgson. He is a power forward with a large mean streak. A mean streak that in his junior days left him in the press box for a couple of lengthy suspensions. This guy has some upside, plenty of it, and could turn into an absolute player that very few in the league would want to deal with.
I watched him at times during his junior days including a couple of games at the 2010 Memorial Cup where he looked like a man playing with boys. Owning the boards, and possessing a great shot and a good scoring touch. The timing is strange, and as someone who has always thought highly of Hodgson, I wonder about this one. There is little doubt the Canucks are not shy on skill. And the Cup final showed us that toughness was in question.
Hodgson looks like he has figured it out, and I think will be a great fit in Buffalo. Kassian is a wild card. However, if the 6 foot 3 220 pound plus winger puts it all together, the Canucks may have just added a key piece to a puzzle that isn't missing many.