Prospects of Canucks Prospects
Since the day he was drafted we have been sold on Cody Hodgson as the second coming of Trevor Linden. With yet another training camp starting up, we now learn of yet another injury to the young supposed phenom. My question is is this kid as good as we are being lead to believe or is it all just a smokescreen?
Lets go back in history of the Vancouver Canucks and examine this very topic. In 1970 it was Dale Tallon who was the booby prize to us losing the real player in Gilbert Perrault. Canucks fans were told he was going to be the franchise and that he was a sure thing. He turned out to be a better GM than he did a player.
Fast forward a bit to 1986, maybe one of the most depressing years in team history. Cam Neely was moved to Boston for Barry Pederson. Again we were told how Pederson, being a local kid and all was going to save the franchise. He had come off a 100 point season and was sure to have years of prime hockey left. Oops.
On lesser scales there are the travails of Peter Schaefer, Dixon Ward, Bill Muckalt, Dave Scatchard and of course the immortal Jesse Schultz, all players who were believed to be the next sure thing on the team. All failed to impress when it mattered.
The same is true today, we are being hit with a barrage of columns telling us how deep this team is, how the prospects group and skill set amongst the youngsters has never been better. We heard this last year with Sergei Shirokov, how he would make us forget about Pavel Bure and win a spot on the first line. He lasted 6 games.
Back to reality and the Hodgson situation. After the history of overated hype( or bad misreads by scouts) it is fair to ask is this kid this good? Is his back as hurt as everyone is letting on? Perhaps could it be that the Canucks are using this as a way of covering up the fact maybe they were a bit hasty at declaring him ready for prime time on the draft floor?
There has beome an obvious rift between the two sides, whether its from incompetent doctors or the teams unwillingness to accept said doctors diagnosis i dont know. However there remains a problem and it could turn out detrimental to all involved.
No one wants to see the kid do better more than i do, He has all the promise in the world and his OHL numbers certainly point towards something special, but as in most things in sports it comes down to a case of what have you done for me lately, and in Codys case its nothing.
This team has got all the ammunition this year to go all the way, and to see a young player like Hodgson be a part of that would be wonderful, but based on recent history it is entirely possible we could be dealing with the possibility of overhype. I think the decision was made when this team signed Manny Malhotra as a free agent, he will assume the third line centre spot that they had been keeping warm for Hodgson.
Could this be another Jesse Schultz sure to make the team only to fail scenario? Time will tell, but one thing is for certain, remember the names you hear at the prospects camp this year, because its quite possible the ones destined for greatness will never be heard from again.