Hodgson was “shocked as anyone” after being traded

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If Cody Hodgson asked to be traded by the Vancouver Canucks, he must be a good actor.

“I was as shocked as anyone,” Hodgson told The Province yesterday after learning he’d been dealt to Buffalo for F Zack Kassian and D Marc-Andre Gragnani. “I didn’t see it coming. I really like the city and the fans and the guys are great. But I understand it’s a business and I’m moving on to a new opportunity.”

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis only added to the speculation that the 10th overall pick in 2008, or maybe his agent, had requested a move that would allow the talented 22-year-old center to play in a top-six role.

“That’s an internal thing I’m not going to comment about,” Gillis said.

He added: “Things that happen behind closed doors in our offices are not for public consumption. I’m not going to discuss it.”

Maybe Gillis didn’t mean to sound evasive, but that’s how he came off. Why wasn’t he willing to comment? Nobody would’ve blinked if he’d denied Hodgson had asked to be traded. Maybe a year ago there’d have been some blinking, but not during Hodgson’s breakout season, and not after a trade that made hockey sense. Kassian is a highly touted prospect that gives the Canucks size and toughness up front. Besides, who gets their trade request granted at the deadline when they play for a Cup contender? A player would have to be quite the distraction for that to happen.

Anyway, the trade is done – why it happened shouldn’t affect the Canucks on the ice. But sports is like a soap opera, and fans are always curious about what’s happening behind the scenes.