03/03/2012 12:02 EST | Updated 05/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Canucks to Cody Hodgson: It's Not You It's Me


So what's the real reason the Canucks traded "Rookie of the Year" contender Cody Hodgson to a team that will give him the ice time, A-list line-mates, and Eastern conference exposure to make him a lock for the Calder Trophy?

Even in the age of 24-7 news cycles, all-sports radio networks, non-stop bloggers, and duelling hockey talk shows there are still some stories that never quite make it into the light of day.

I remember reading, years ago, a rumour in the now defunct Frank Magazine claiming that one of the Canucks' top defense-men was traded because he was caught "banging the twine" with the goalie's wife. I have no idea if the rumour was true, but it made more sense than the official story in the papers.

I've always assumed Dan Cloutier must have rescued Marc Crawford from a burning building, because there was no other explanation for the latter's career-destroying devotion to Cloutier.

And I can't help but think Cody Hodgson must have once poured ketchup of Coach V's poutine, because no matter how well he did, Hodgson always seemed to be on a very tight leash.

During last year's playoffs, Hodgson had to sit and watch games in which, even if it was just for eight minutes of ice time, he could have made that one goal in that one game that decided whether the Canucks won or lost the Cup. But clearly, Coach V considered him too much of a liability.

On Twitter, sports reported Dan Murphy weighed in with: "General Manager Mike Gillis would not comment on whether Hodgson camp asked for a trade. Said it was gut-wrenching to trade him."

So was it Hodgson who asked for the trade?

Did Gillis realize Hodgson was never going to feel Coach V's love? So maybe rather than have to watch the player be benched for most of the playoffs, he faced the gut-wrenching consequences of a trade?

Was it a pure hockey trade -- skill for size?

Or is there another story between Gillis, Hodgson, and Coach V.

Cody was the surprise of the season for Canuck nation -- the breakout star, the big news story, the new fan favourite -- the forward who showed up to score in games the goalies fought tooth and nail to keep the Canucks in.

But he was also the guy who was never going to get more than a few minutes of ice time, because he was on a team with two centres who likely have at least a half dozen more All-Star appearances left in their careers.

Ignoring the fact that Hodgson was a likely contender for this year's "most exciting player," and "unsung hero," I agree with TSN's Farhan Lalji who tweeted, "This is not a "mortgage the future" trade. Kassian: 21 years old, first round (13th overall). Hodgson: 22 years old, first round, (tenth overall)."

Lalji's other comment was, "For all you lamenting CoHo, he was never going to become a top-two centre with #canucks. Kasian will be a beast. Very good trade for both."

As good as Hodgson was, and as amazing as he's likely to become, he was the Canucks' third line centre. Barring injuries to Hank or Kess, he wasn't going to be much more than that for some time.

And as much as I prefer watching Hodgson's style to that of Kassian's, a player with his size might prevent other teams from "spearing the Sedin," when referees stop calling penalties in playoff games.

That said, I cannot help but feel that there's another reason Gillis was willing to trade 2012's Rookie of the Year. And it's a reason none of us will probably ever know.