Most guys have had a girlfriend who earned the epithet high maintenance, and doubtless there are women with stories about guys who earned it. But can a hockey player earn it? Eric Lindros comes to mind, he earned it. And now Cody Hodgson.
"There clearly were issues that were ongoing," Canucks GM Mike Gillis said of Hodgson at his season ending press conference on April 24. "I spent more time on Cody's issues than every other player combined on our team the last three years."
Ouch. If you're Cody Hodgson that has gotta hurt more than a little. But what could a player be so needy about that the general manager has to spend so much time trying to sort out? There was talk from players, jokingly, that Hodgson had to be shown how to dress as a professional hockey player, which suggests something lacking, though, again, it seemed more in fun.
Gillis on Hodgson: "He didn't want to be here"
Eric Lindros and Bobby Clarke made up at the Winter Classic in Philly in 2011 but there's a case of an NHL general manager finding his player to be high maintenance, egged on by his parents. There's no indication Hodgson's parents had anything to do with taking up Gillis' time, however. His father, Chris, was a member of the Conservative provincial government in Ontario, and was a cabinet minister. His most unsavory claim to fame was an offensive remark concerning first nations people, a remark he denied during a court proceeding.
It's likely some of what Gillis had to spend time on with regard Cody Hodgson had to do with the 10th pick overall in the 2008 entry draft not wanting to be in Vancouver, which he denied in his exit interview with the Vancouver media when dealt to Buffalo for Zach Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani at the trade deadline. But Gillis tells a different story.
At the press conference, Gillis brought it up when he talked about how the deal was done. "We made a determination that he didn't want to be here (so) we built him into something we could move," Gillis said. "There were six young players that I would have traded him for if any of them were ever made available. One was made available at the trade deadline and it was Zack."
The offensive Cody Hodgson
And how did they build Hodgson into "something we could move."? It seems they shielded him from the kind of defensive responsibilities most centers are expected to take on, new to the league or not, and placed him into roles where he could succeed offensively.
"We put Cody on the ice in every offensive situation we possibly could," the GM said. "I don't think he took more than five or six defensive zone faceoffs, and that was by design." So they helped him to put up decent numbers for a young player, 16 goals, 17 assists and 33 points in 63 games a plus 8 rating. How did he do in Buffalo? In 20 games he managed 3 goals, 5 assists and 8 points, with a minus7 rating. Sounds like there may be truth to that part of the story....
But we still wonder about all the need for high maintenance.