Bad back will keep Canucks' first rounder from playing for Team Canada

A bad year just keeps getting worse for Cody Hodgson, the Vancouver Canucks first round pick in the 2008 National Hockey League entry draft. The 19-year-old has taken himself off the roster for the upcoming national junior team evaluation camp because of a lingering back problem.

The trouble started last summer when Hodgson injured himself preparing for Canucks training camp. Although he participated in training camp and even played in a handful of NHL preseason games, he was clearly labouring.

Hodgson was returned to junior by the Canucks but has yet to play a game this season for the Brampton Battalion, his Ontario Hockey League team. And now he's had to pull out of the running for the national junior team where he surely would have been a front-runner to be captain after starring for the gold-medal winning squad last year in Ottawa.

Hodgson's back troubles are being monitored closely by doctors and the Vancouver Canucks. Hodgson is still young, but clearly there has to be concern about the longterm health of the franchise's prize prospect.

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Seamus O'Bradaigh
Unfortunately the canucks may deem Hodgson a prize prospect, but they sure haven't done the due diligence to ensure that Hodgson was safe and sound in the womb of the mother club.
A full season of junior running deep into the OHL final series; coupled with an outstanding run at the world juniors at new years ... which saw Hodgson lead the Canadian gold medal winners and the tourney in scoring ... outstanding for a young 18 year old. But!
No sooner had Hodgson ended his season with the Brampton Battalion ... he was on his way to Winnipeg. For a run with the farm team manitoba Moose ... which kept Cody on the ice well into the spring.
if the Canucks really deem Hodgson to be one of their up and comers .. maybe they should have taken the time to assess priorities.
Cut the kid some slack. The call up to the Moose was just too much hockey for an 18 year old. Shame on the Canucks front office for not taking into account all that double duty on special teams. All that extra hockey and practice with Team canada at New years ... comes a time when management must step up and put the player first. Was the stint with the Moose really necessary?
Do you need any more proof of this kid's heart? His high level of regard for competition? His dedication to the Canucks franchise?
And now some sniffs and whiffs from Canuck management that they may be dealing with damaged goods? Shame shame shame.
Look Canucks .. if you don't want to step to the plate and give this kid the support he needs... physically and mentally .. then have the guts and compassion to trade him to a franchise who will respect his heart, drive and talent ... please. Show a corporate face that speaks to compassion and not the bottom line.
Seamus
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