Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson is a player many within the organization and in the stands are eager to see blossom into the next superstar forward in Vancouver. Last year, Hodgson appeared he’d be ready to make the leap to the NHL as a 20 year-old. Instead, he was sent back to the OHL’s Brampton Battalion causing Canucks fans to get impatient with Hodgson’s development.
As it turns out, Hodgson suffered a torn muscle injury in his back last year that slowed him down and caused him to miss most of last season and is now causing him to miss rookie camp. Vancouver fans are up in arms about things and thankfully Jason Botchford is here to throw water on the fire.
And here is where Cody Hodgson is preparing to try and snag a plum forward spot in the Canucks top nine forward group made available because of an injury to Alex Burrows.
You see, it’s with that in mind that assistant GM Laurence Gilman first hinted back on Sept. 1 that Hodgson would be kept out of the prospect’s tournament.
“We just want to make sure we give him the best chance to come in and make an impact,” Laurence Gilman told The Province. “We haven’t decided yet whether he’ll play and we’ll make that decision at little closer to the tournament.”
So, if you’re plan is to give a player the best chance possible to make the team and that player has an injury which has lingered for 14 months, would it make sense for him to play five games against first-year pros?
Clearly having Hodgson be totally healthy before getting back on the ice is the most important thing and making sure the fans put the pitchforks and torches down is secondary. We can’t help but wonder how fun of a time this would be to have Canucks GM Mike Gillis on Twitter to answer to/deal with the crazed outrage from members of the West Coast Branch of Tinfoil Haberdashery.
Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.
The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.
He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)
But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.
“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.
“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”
Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)
The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).
Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.
Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.
Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.
As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.
Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.
Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”
At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.
The Rangers host Carolina tonight.
Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’
Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.
That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.
On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.
Related: The latest on Price’s injury