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Cody Hodgson -The Next Sidney Crosby?.....Or, Why Cody Left!

Talent (& Luck) + Opportunity = Success?


The trading of Cody Hodgson this week has sparked a conflict between emotional attached fans

{ 'The Canucks are crazy to trade a star of the future' }. And, intellectual detached observers, who, by

using advanced metrics argue that { 'The Canucks are right to 'sell high' and trade a player who was simply

benefiting from luck, and easy minutes'} Advanced metric supporters warn us that by simply

watching games fans cannot deduce individual and team talent levels.Therefore, thousands of Vancouver fans,

many of which have watched a large number of NHL games,are incorrect in their subjective conclusions -

Man! This trade sucks!

And, that Hodgson is, and has the potential to be, a high quality player with special 'above average' talent.

So who is right?

Let's compare Hodgson to the best NHL player to see just how crazy Vancouver fans are.

Crosby Vs. Hodgson

1st NHL season:

Player - - - - - - - -- -- -Games Played - - - - - - - - Goals - - -- - - -- - - Assists - -- - - - - -Points

Crosby - - - -- - - -- - - 81 -- - - -- - - - - -- - - - - 39 - - - - - - -- - - - - - -63 -- - - - - -- - - - 104

Hodgson - - - -- - - - - - 63 -- - - - -- - - - - - - - - - 16 -- - -- - -- - - - - - - - 17 -- -- - - - - - -- -33

Crosby (adj.*) --- - - --63* - -- - - - - - - - - - - - -30* -- - - - -- - - - - - - -49*- - - - - - - - -- - 79*

No Comparison, Right? Just a sec. Cody's main complaint was not enough ice time so to be fair we need to

make this adjustment as well.

Player - - - -Total Time On Ice - -- - Time On Ice (EVEN) - - - -- - - - - Time On Ice(Power Play)

Crosby - - - -19.5 (min./gm.) - -- - -- - - 13.9 (min/gm.)-- -- - -- - - - - -- - - - - - -- 5.6(min/gm.)

Hodgson - - - -12 (min./gm) -- - - -- - - - 10.5 (min./gm) - -- - - - -- - -- - - - - - - - - 1.5(min.gm.)

Player - - - -- - - -- - --Goals - - - -- - -- - - -- -- - Assits - - -- - -- - - - -- - -- - - --Points -

Crosby (adj*) -- - - - -- 17* -- - -- - - - -- - - - - -- -23* -- - -- - - -- - - - - - -- - - - - -- 40*

Hodgson -- - - - -- - - -- -16 -- - - - - -- - - - - - - - -- 17 -- - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -33

Ouch!...Very Interesting.....in addition we seem to be moving back into the dead puck era

In the 2005/06 season Crosby's first, the goal per game average was 3.04g/gm. This year its down to 2.62 g/gm.

So, to be fair, we need to adjust for this as well

Player - - - -- - - -- - --Goals - - - -- - -- - - -- -- - Assits - - -- - -- - - - -- - -- - - --Points -

Crosby (adj*) -- - - - -- 15* -- - -- - - - -- - - - - - - - 20* -- - -- - - -- - - - - - -- - - - - -- 35*

Hodgson -- - - - -- - - --16 -- - - - - -- - - - - - - - -- 17 -- - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - -33

Finally, its been pointed out that Cody Hodgson like Michael Grabner before him, was holding the

hot hand and shooting at a rate that couldn't be sustained so let's compare and adjust

shooting percentages.

Player - - -- - - - --shooting %- -- - - - - -Goals - - - -- - -- - - -- -- - Assits - - -- - -- - - - -- - --Points

Crosby -- - -- - - - --14 - -- - - - -- - - - -- -15* -- - -- - - - -- - - - - -- - -20* -- - -- - - -- - - - - - -- - 35*

Hodgson (adj.*) -- -15 -- - - -- - - -- - - -- 15*-- - - -- - - - - - -- - - -- - 17- -- - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - 32

Now, it's a little silly to conclude that Hodgson will be the next Crosby. But it raises important

questions in hockey analysis. Does the wisdom of advanced metric supporters outweigh

the wisdom of the crowds What separates a player like Crosby from Hodgson and, more specifically,

how does Crosby maintain an extraordinary shooting % like he does? And, to what extent can

this skill be taught or passed on to other players. This analysis also shows just

how impressive Cody's numbers have been, and how important ice time can be

and it also helps helps explain the outrage many fans expressed; their

fear that our team is losing a player of real and significant value

So, what is Hodgson's mean performance? Or, just how lucky has he been? And, will he

regress to an average player or to a 1st line star? Until we have a larger sample size,

the safe bet is that Cody has the potential to be a 1st line player

excelling on the PP and an average defensive player very similar to Henrik scoring 70 points on a

regular basis (in three years). The analysis also highlights the real importance that OPPORTUNITY

has in a players success.

-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- (Talent& Luck) + Opportunity =Success - -- - - - - - - - - - ---------

It's ironic to note that The Sedins are a perfect example of players given every opportunity

to be successful (including the crazy amounts of ozone starts they continue to receive). Hodgson was

right to want more ice time. He clearly earned it. The Canucks were in a position to give him more,

to see if he could continue his production. Progressive organizations like the Canucks have

been under Mike Gillis, make room for excellence. Or at least we can assume they would appease their players

to ensure future success. At best Henrik has 2-3 years as a top center. Why couldn't Cody be groomed

to take the torch, with some 1st line power play and even strength time with Daniel,

to spell Henrik (who had a foot injury, giving him much needed rest for the playoffs). A simple compromise of 3-4

more minutes of time would of solved the problem. Looking forward the Canucks have only one

skilled center prospect in their system (Jordan Schroeder) who does not have Cody's pedigree.

"...and after his first year as a professional, it would be fair to say that Schroeder struggled in Manitoba. Mostly, he struggled with his consistency and work ethic..."

Also, Henrik Sedin is approaching an age (31) where players can see their production decrease

and risk of injury increase.Finally, centers are worth almost double as wingers

and this further points out the value Buffalo received.

"After analyzing more than 12,000 games our research found that the most important positions among skaters are found at defense, followed closely by center. The least important position is at wing."

No.based on these facts, this trade was not a rational decision..It cannot be justified as such.

It looks like a reactionary one? And, Canuck fans are left to guess? Was Hodgson

perceived as a 'selfish' player? Was the rift between AV and Hodgson so bad Gillis was forced to

make the best out of a bad situation? It will be interesting to see how Cody

does with his opportunity. And, to see what happens if and when Henrik or Ryan get hurt?

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