Sunday's exhibition game might help Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson live his 'dream'

hodgsongetscreamed.jpgFor many fans – and I would guess, plenty of players whose jobs aren’t riding on these performances – the preseason can be a real yawn-fest. While those disinterested parties sleep through these games, at least one player considers Sunday’s Edmonton Oilers-Vancouver Canucks exhibition something of a dream come true.

That’s because tomorrow’s contest could be the culmination of a grueling 14-month road to recovery from a back injury for Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson. While it’s probably foolish to say that Hodgson is fully healed, he’s excited to get back into playing form. Here’s more from the Province.

“This is what you dream of. My dream has always been to play in the National Hockey League. I’m one step closer playing in a preseason game.” [Hodgson said.]

Hodgson has been symptom free since he came to Vancouver in early September, but hasn’t played because he’s been slowly building up strength in his lower back and getting his conditioning to game speed.

He was cleared for full contact, and that means cleared to play, earlier in the week. His first full practice was Wednesday, his toughest was Friday.

It’s difficult to imagine that Hodgson could quickly transition from unable to play hockey to making the Canucks’ opening day roster, but Canucks GM Mike Gillis isn’t ruling out the possibility.

Beginning Sunday, the Canucks have four preseason games left and there is a chance Hodgson could play three of them. Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said Hodgson can still make the team, and given the way no one has stood out in the first three games, Hodgson has to have a legitimate chance.

“That’s the goal, we’ll see how it goes,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson’s road to recovery has been bumpy – Gillis even critiqued the media for the way they handled the story – but tomorrow’s match could open a new, hopeful chapter in his career. Good luck to him as he tries to move on from a tough injury.

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    Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

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    Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

    Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

    The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

    Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

    Sabres waive d-man Donovan

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    Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

    Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

    The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

    The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.