Could the Leafs land Cody Hodgson?

Not saying it’s going to happen, but one interesting rumor making the rounds would have the Toronto Maple Leafs trading defenseman and leading scorer Tomas Kaberle to the Vancouver Canucks for prospect Cody Hodgson, who has finally overcome his back problems and is playing well for the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario League.

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has said he does not plan to approach Kaberle to waive his no-trade clause prior to the March 3 trade deadline, but that clause is rescinded from after the draft until Aug. 15 if the Maple Leafs don’t make the playoffs. So if the potential for a trade with the Canucks were to materialize, Kaberle would have some control over his destiny by agreeing to a deal prior to the deadline, ensuring he would be going to a playoff-bound team with a good future rather than facing the uncertainty of being dealt to any one of the 28 other teams during the summer.

The Canucks already have three good offensive producers on the blueline in Christian Ehrhoff, Alex Edler and Sami Salo who are all under contract beyond this season. It’s worth questioning whether the Canucks would make themselves any better by acquiring Kaberle, unless they intend to move a defenseman to acquire more help up front. Of their current defensemen, only Willie Mitchell and Salo have no-trade clauses in their contracts.

From a Maple Leafs perspective, the deal would make much more sense. Chances are, Kaberle will ultimately be traded anyway and if the Leafs could get Hodgson, it would give them another prospect and help fill the hole created by losing their first round picks in the 2010 and 2011 drafts.

And while Hodgson has not complained, there are those who believe he would not be shattered if the Canucks were to deal his rights. The problems began in training camp when Hodgson either suffered or exacerbated a back injury, depending on which side you take on the issue. Hodgson played six pre-season games in an effort to make the team, but was returned to junior hockey after training camp. The injury put his season in jeopardy and forced him to sit out the World Junior Championship.

It’s also believed Hodgson is not thrilled the Canucks essentially called his character into question. In fact, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said during camp that Hodgson did not play hurt during the pre-season and might be trying to blame a summer back injury for his disappointing performance in training camp.

Since returning to the Brampton lineup, the 10th overall selection in the 2008 draft has two goals and seven points in six games.

168 Responses to Could the Leafs land Cody Hodgson?

  1. reinjosh says:

    actually a top 6 forward and a top prospect is what i would look for him
    so basically on par with what you would
    and Kovy's is a little different. He got a top pick, a top prospect, a top 4 dman, and a fringe top 6 forward. So not at all more than him.

    I would expect either a guy like Bobby Ryan straight up
    or a top 6 and a top prospect.
    I don't actually think he is as good as you seem to think
    im about where you are
    although I would say top 15 in the league(and I agree about doughty, the kid is sick)
    so we pretty much are saying the same thing
    although I can understand your confusion
    deez wont listen to us. he keeps thinking we want a top 3 and a first
    all of us have said that isn't possible

  2. reinjosh says:

    Dude, you need to learn how to read.

    Not one of suggested that Kaberle could get a 1st and a top 3 forward. In fact right away all of us said he could get a top 6 and a 1st or prospect or a top 3 forward straight up (a one for one swap).

    And don't try and play the easy going card now and claim you never stated that Kaberle wasn't worth much. In fact, I remember you firmly stating that anybody was nuts to think that a GM would give up a young prospect like Filativ for a 31 year like Kaberle.

    You never once mentioned this position you now take on Hodgson. If you had read some of the posts people were making, its was more an assumption that Hodgson was on the outs with management and that management would be better served getting a player who can actually help them win the cup this year with Hodgson as he can't actually help them win right now. It was more a logical idea than anything.

    And why does he get a nice response yet other gets a response that starts with an insult right away? A little uncalled for.

    Your thought on Burke's position of strength isn't necessarily right. Just because he doesn't have a great team doesn't mean he is coming from a weak position. Sure we have limited prospects but thats what draft are for. And yes he may only have 1 2nd rounder next season out of the first two rounds but that doesn't hamper a trade. Its not like he is desperate for 2nds or 1st. He has already stated as much so that does nothing to any trade. You overall assessment on Burke's position is incredibly flawed.

    And what is it with people that want to put Hodgson on the third line? Regardless of where he plays, he shouldn't be starting out that way. He is a player, as you said, that has tremendous potential to be a first line player. Why would you start him on the third line? Thats just a dumb thing to do and what does it tell you top prospect? Not anything good, thats for sure.

    And lets get something straight. I was never arguing the validity of Hodgson moving or not. I myself stated it was unlikely. I was debating your first assessment of Kaberle not being capable of getting a prospect like FIlatov or Hodgson in a trade.

  3. DannyLeafs says:

    I agree, a prospects value vs. a players value is drastically altered by the team they play for. Hodgson and Filatov are mentioned because their respective teams are not 100% happy with the way things have gone so far, therefore speculation will occur. The Canucks are a team whose core is about the same age as Kaberle, all entering their prime right now, so the emphasis would be put on winning right now. However to give an example of a prospect who the Leafs have no chance of landing with Kaberle, is Brayden Schenn. LA loves Schenn, and is a very young team that has an excellent puck moving Defensmen already in the fold, and more in the system, so there is no way they would ever give up Schenn for Kaberle, but it doesn't mean that Kaberle isn't worth a prospect of his calibre, just that it isn't a fit. Any player that gets traded for Kaberle is going to be coming from a team that is either disappointed with the player, or disappointed with the team and wants to shake things up. Thus, creating the value and situations we have all talked about. I don't know of any trade scenarios anyone has proposed involving Carter and a 1st or anything of the like, however people have mentioned that was a trade that was on the table at one time or another, so maybe that has caused some confusion. Anyway, here's hoping there is a bit of a bidding war if the rumor of him submitting a list is true.

  4. cam7777 says:

    Well, that's much less offensive than your starting point, but you still got some things wrong in there.  First, I want to say that Kaberle won't have the final say all summer, which is perhaps why he is so nonchalant about not asking him to move his NTC in the middle of the season.  My belief is that Joe Neuwyndyk is desperate for Kaberle (he has been rumored to have a massive interest in a certain Toronto player), and that a deal is already on the table between Burke and Joe for the summer time.  If that offer is not bringing back the kind of player Burke wants, it's not unlikely that he would have already gone to another team (say the Ducks), and inquired as to whether such a package would fetch a player he is interested in. 

    I got side-tracked there, but the point is, Burke has over 2 months to move Kaberle without his permission.  If he's still a Leaf at that time, oh well, Burke will lock him up, and we'll have one of the best, if not the best with Lidstrom sliding rapidly, offensive defensemen in the league.  Well, Mike Green is probably still better, but Kaberle is no slouch.  We're happy to keep him in TO if need be, so the bargaining power does not rest in the hands of the opposing teams' GM.

    Secondly, the Leafs have restocked the cupbard.  You are talking about the Leafs of a year go.  Many of our prospects have jumped up several notches over the course of the last year.  Guys like Jerry D'Amigo have delivered huge based on initial expectations.  Guys like Tyler Ruegsegger, previously unheard of commodities, have been tearing up the NCAA.  Chris DiDomenico has returned from injury, and where he was once considered too small to play in the NHL, has come back at 200 pounds, and had a four point night in his return to hockey.  Kadri, Hanson, Bozak, Stalberg, Gustavsson, GUnnarsson, Mikus, Blacker, D'Amigo, D.Mitchell, Paradis, and Stefanovich – this crew is not the bunch of slouches the Leafs had last year.  Our prospect pool has definitely jumped up huge.  Burke is not desperate to land prospects and picks, as you say.  Quite the opposite in fact.  His abiility to land young free agents in the NCAA is the reason he doesn't care about draft picks. 

    Bozak sure looks like the 1st round pick Burke said he would replace – he has the highest PPG on our team.  Point is, that's a massive misconception.  THe Leafs have a ton of talent coming up, it just all 2-3 years away from being impactful talent, outside of the top 4 or 5 names.  But nonetheless, they are all very promising.

    This brings me to my next point, your shot about free agents not wanting to come to Toronto.  Did you forget that the Sedins were minutes away from being Leafs?  Did you know that Burke offered Cammalleri a contract?  Cammalleri wanted to be a Leaf, but Burke refused to match Gainey's offer, and walked away.  Did you forget about Komisarek and Beauchemin, the two biggest defenders not named Bouwmeester that were available?  It's easy to forget, in this bad season, that these guys were highly, highly thought of only 10 months ago.  And so they will be again.

    I agree that Kaberle and Gonchar are on a different level than Pronger and Lidstrom (Chara has actually been brutal this year, if you've watched the Bruins at all – some people think he's playing injured).  Regardless, Kaberle would fill the role of top offensive D-man, whether he is capable of matching a Lidstrom or a Pronger or not.  The reality is that guys like Drew Doughty, Mike Green, Zdeno Chara, and so on, the reality is that none of these guys are available.  If you want/need a top pairing D-man who brings the offense, and can be a one-man powerplay, your options are either hoping Gonchar hits free agency, or trading for Tomas Kaberle.  Simply put, no one else is even out there.

    Finally, I just want to say, that despite all this, we are shockingly on a similar page.  I wasn't proposing Kaberle for Carter, and a 1st, or Bobby Ryan and a 1st, or even any Pronger like deals.  I simply suggested that Kaberle could easily return a top PROSPECT and a 1st round pick, or, through some crookery, and by sweetening the deal, a top three player like Carter or Ryan.  At the start of this argument, you made it sound as though Burke would have a hard time getting so much as a 1st round pick back for him. 

    Also, looking back on the start of this argument, I don't know what I was on, and I apologize for being absurdly aggressive. 

  5. cam7777 says:

    Based on what?  Lupul was a 7th overall, and Carle was a guy who hit 42 points in his first season – as a defensemen.  Lupul was thought of in the same respect as Getzlaf and Perry as far as Anaheim's core was concerned.  I don't remember as much about Carle, because, quite frankly, I didn't care.  And whatever, it is one tournament that has made Hodgson elite in the eyes of the media, so my guess is he's not really as elite as we all think.

  6. reinjosh says:

    It was miscommunication that started this and it just snowballed from their.  But he really did make it sound like Burke would have a very hard time getting a 1st or a prospect.

    And it could be argued that were Kaberle on the Capitals, he would be as good if not better than Green. At worst though, I would say there is no one on defense better than Kaberle in an offensive sense save maybe Green. That alone makes him incredibly valuable.

    Im sure if you asked people what would be needed to get Green, they would assign such an astronomical package to it. Funny how being a Leaf decreases Kaberle's value so much.

  7. Bure96 says:

    Carle was not considered a potentially elite player when traded – he was coming off a terrible season actually.

    And Lupul was considered a potentially very player before being traded, but Kaberle isn't quite Chris Pronger (traded in his prime too remember) either, so don't expect the same return.

  8. deeznucks says:

    Cam7777, thanks for the apology.  I think it was more of that little brain comment that started it all for me too.  But I appreciate you taking the first step to apologize.  It shows your a bigger person.

    Reinjosh, I did say I wasn't interested in continuing to call each other names and the reason Dannyleaf got a nice response is because he laid out the facts without the disses and did so quite eloquently.  I'm sorry if you caught my anger when I was responding to Cam7777, but I guess I was too caught up to remember who said what.

    I do have to hand it to you guys that you sure know your stuff.  Out here in Vancouver (you're missing out on some great Olympics by the way), we don't get alot of Leaf stuff and, in fact, we get a lot negativity about the Maple Leafs, so what I do get about the Maple Leafs is from TSN because its on all the time.  Not that I'm a Maple Leaf fan, but I still believe in being fair and giving credit where its due and supporting Canadian teams.

    I'm a Canucks fan, but I try to be realistic in terms of what my team can do or what we can get for people like Hodgson.  Hodgson is an important player for the Canucks in the organization because, like I said before, they really don't have much after that.  They have guys like Rodin, Schneider, Shirokov, Grabner and Schroeder, but none with the exception of Schneider and Hodgson is considered an elite prospect.  In that sense, the Canucks will be trying to do anything and everything to help Hodgson succeed.  In media reports after the draft, Hodgson was portrayed as being just as skilled offensively, better defensively, and perhaps even smarter than Stamkos as a player but he was lacking the skating ability to bring him to the next level.  Even if he never pans out as a pure offensive player, he was also considered to be one of the best leaders in the draft class, which may make him more of a Trevor Linden than a Stamkos, but either way, still important in the Canucks organization.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    Thanks for listening to my rants and I agree with TimTheBone.. I can't wait until the trade deadline.  I just hope its not as disappointing as last year.

    GO CANADA GO!!!!!!!!!!

  9. TimTheBone says:

    ok whoa now with the getzlaf perry comparisons….. Lupul was never near the same level as those guys…. not even F'ing close to the same level…. and 42 points does not make him "Elite"…… and for the record i never said Hodgson was elite… just arguing the Non elite…… and as far as hodgson is concerned to me… i feel he's on par with a guy like Tavares….. I think Tavares has gotten WAAAAY too much media attention and they make him seem like a god as a hockey player… i remember they were comparing him to Sid the Kid… that was absurd… sure the guy broke a gretzky record in junior but come on… he's not even as good as Stamkos…. soooo… thats where i stand on that

  10. cam7777 says:

    I'm not saying Hodsgon won't be an elite player, but don't forget, that you can't get caught up in what TSN says, or really what anyone from the Canadian medai says, about Canadian prospects.  We love our prospects in the media.  Didn't you know that Duchene is already better than Sakic?  And Hedman is Lidstrom, except bigger, faster, and smarter!  Did you know that Tyler Myers is already more accomplished than Zdeno Chara, and Luke Schenn has become the next Scott Stevens?  Not saying that Hodgson won't be those things, or that any one of the above couldn't happen, but the media really lets the hype machine get out of control with these kids.  Selling youth, and especially Canadian youth, is extremely marketable for the media – we love to hear about how great our next wave is here in Canada; we can't get enough.

    Conversely, much of the hockey world is either in love with the Maple Leafs, or can't stand the sight of blue and white.  The media is eating up this Maple Leaf playoff drought, because talking bad about the Maple Leafs is instant ratings, and instant controversy, nation-wide.  It's the reason CBC has put Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson on their Leaf broadcasts – people love to hear negativity about the Leafs, and those two DESPISE the Leafs.  They are the most loved, and the most hated team in hockey.  The problem is that Leafs fans tune in regardless, so there's nothing to be gained by saying anything positive about the Leafs.  Even after the Phaneuf deal, it was like the Toronto writers had to summon some long forgotten courage to find the strength to say something good about Burke, and his team.

    Needless to say, I'm not surprized that you don't hear positive things about the Leafs in Vancouver.  Just keep in mind, things are never as dire in Toronto as the rest of the hockey world wants them to be.  Oh, and about Hodgson, your organization needn't worry if he doesn't pan out.  You have five more years of dominance pretty much guaranteed from the twins – you can count on Swedes for a LONG shelf life.  Many teams are in much, much worse condition prospect wise.  The Flames for instance, are basically the Leafs of five years ago – trading away everything they have, and continuing to give their one star no one to play with, and having no success in the draft.  So no worries.

    Cheers to Danny Leafs though, for formulating my thoughts so nicely, and sorting on this, previously, heated debate.

  11. cam7777 says:

    Ducks are my second favorite team, and I watched them religiously the year they went to the semi-finals and lost to Edmonton.  They LOVED Lupul when they traded him.  I'm not saying they considered his upside to be as high as Getzlaf and Perry, but they certainly had him figured as a VERY solid piece of the core.  Not unlike Hodgson, he was made expendable by Getzlaf, Perry, McDonald, Selanne, Kunitz, and the emergence of Dustin Penner.  In Vancouver, they have Kesler, Raymond. Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Burrows. and a host of prospects a step down from Hodgson himself (Schroeder, Grabner, Shirokov). 

  12. TimTheBone says:

    Even bobby ryan straight up…… i dont like it…. that kid keeps getting better and a straight up trade while might seem fair, i think Toronto would win that hands over foot…. i wouldnt expect a straight up trade… i would see something like lets say Bobby Ryan and Brett Festerling for Kaberle and hanson/stalberg/D'amigo…….basically what im saying is that it would be more of a package with a more talented prospect going to anaheim and a "lesser" one going to T.O…. kinda working like a scale balancing things out…. a straight up trade wouldnt work with Kaberle…. it'll be a package…

  13. cam7777 says:

    Yea, but it was his sophomore year, after a 42 point rookie season, if I recall.  I don't think anyone had really given up on him.  It was clear he would be a solid NHL talent.  You can hardly write him off as if San Jose tossed him away.  As if they wouldn't prefer to have him over Jason Demers, and Kent Huskins, and able to replace Rob Blake at season's end (if not sooner).  Trading someone you know to be a proven NHL'er is never taken lightly.

    True that Kaberle isn't Pronger, and I don't expect the Kaberle deal to match Pronger's, but to say it won't be in the same ball-park probably isn't accurate either.  Things have changed since the Pronger deal.  No one lets players like this make it to free agency anymore, and if they make it there, you have to be able to clear out 7 million in cap space.  Taking a 1 in 29 chance of landing a Bouwmeester every 3 or 4 years isn't a good way to secure yourself a top defensemen.

    Reinjosh made a good point down below – imagine you need an offensive defensemen, and you're going to check the asking prices on the guys that are better than Kaberle either because of their age or accolades.  What would Washington want for Mike Green?  What would LA want for Drew Doughty?  What would Nashville want for Shea Weber?  And of course, guys like Chara and Lidstrom probably aren't even on the table, nor will they ever be again.  The free agent, and trade culture has changed so much, that I think it puts Kaberle near Pronger's level value wise, if for nothing else than the fact that there is nothing else available.

  14. reinjosh says:

    Well at least we came to an understanding. i also apologize if I got a little defensive and let slip some insults.

    I agree that Hodgson is an important player. I was merely speculating that if his injury was a concern and his reported troubles with management are true, the time might be to trade him and get something sizeable back.

    He is an intriguing prospect and one I have be so interested in. Sure, I would love to have him, but I don't think I ever thought we could get him. More fantasy trade (as most of the ones we propose on here are haha, although Cam almost predicted the Phaneuf trade). I definitely see Hodgson as an exciting player and while I don't see him achieving Stamkos type level, I could definitely see him becoming a great two way player (like a Kesler, but less so maybe). Maybe you even get a line running with Kesler and Hodgson together.

    Hopefully this misscommunication can be forgotten about. Its nice to have some more non-Leaf and non-Habs fans on here though.

  15. TimTheBone says:

    exactly…. he wasnt elite……. Kunitz Macdonald Penner Raymond Kesler Burrows…. none of these guys are "elite"…. i'd even be hard pressed to say perry is elite… hes up there but i think the chemistry with getzlaf has alot to do with his success,…… Selanne was…. but is past his prime….. and just because fans LOVE a guy doesnt make him elite… or even good for that matter… fans often love not so great players

  16. cam7777 says:

    which is exactly my case with Hodgson.  He hasn't even done anything at this level, and even his success at the junior level was somewhat unexpected.  he's a good junior player, but his hype is living off the one tournament where he wsa surrounded by the finest talent in the world.  you don't hear any leaf fans claiming that jerry d'amigo will be a top line player, hands down, simply because he outscored taylor hall at that same tournament, do you?

  17. reinjosh says:

    The Sedins truly are elite players. hopefully people start to see this now

    This is why I was hoping Burke would be willing to spend 12 – 14 million dollars on them this summer?

  18. reinjosh says:

    I disagree completely. He is only on pace for 65 points which is a less of a pace than his last season. And if you consider his goal totals (one pace for 35 or 36) than he is almost identical to Kessel. And if Kessel and a pick could go for Kaberle than Ryan can go for Kaberle straight up.
    No need to toss in prospects on either side. Its more than fair.

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