Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This is Not a Story: Cody Hodgson Edition

Don't worry, Cody, not all Canucks fans are drama queens.

The latest Canucks "news" making waves throughout the media is the drama surrounding whether Cody Hodgson will appear in the Young Stars Tournament that starts this Sunday. The Team 1040 has reiterated every single "Sports Update" the news that Cody Hodgson will be undergoing a medical evaluation by the Canucks and may not participate in the tournament at all! What terrible news! But what if the news you're reporting isn't actually news?

The Province's Canucks blog, The White Towel, initially made a fuss about Cody Hodgson not being in Vancouver yet, an absurd complaint as he's finishing a training regimen with Gary Roberts, who's swiftly become one of the most respected NHL trainers after some impressive results from Steven Stamkos last season. But that's not where the problems started. The issue arose from this quote from Laurence Gilman:

“For any player, we want to make sure he's fit to play,” said Gilman. “We haven't had a chance to conduct a (recent) medical evaluation (on Hodgson).”

This rather innocent quote is what started it all. The Team 1040 has been "reporting" every hour the alarming "news" that Cody Hodgson may not participate in the Young Stars Tournament until he passes a medical evaluation. The Kurtenbloggers took the opportunity to
rehash every twist and turn in the Hodgson story, because of this latest "news."

So why is this not a story? Because every single prospect will be undergoing a medical evaluation before participating in prospects camp. Cody Hodgson is not undergoing some out of the ordinary medical evaluation because of his back problems last season; it's the same medical evaluation that all of the Canucks prospects will be participating in. Here's a relevant quote from the prospect camp press release:

27 players are scheduled to report to Rogers Arena on Friday, September 10th for pre-training camp medicals and testing.

That's right: 27 players are scheduled for pre-training camp medicals and testing. Twenty-seven. Not just Hodgson. Clearly, Gilman was asked a question specifically about Hodgson and he responded with the truth, that he would be undergoing the standard medical evaluation before participating in training camp. He even specified that they would do the same "for any player."

This is not a story. Stop trying to make it one.


  1. I agree with this so much.

    With the Hodgson ridiculousness, the captaincy (or Captain C for Harrison), and now this Hodgson thing, this blog seems to be entirely immune to ridiculous hype. Next thing you know, we're going to be saying that Canadian teams aren't being deliberately discriminated against by the reffing and goal reviewers... oh wait that already happened, too. I love this blog so much.

  2. I still love that picture of Mike Murphy.

  3. In defense of my bad play on words, I was talking about both the captaincy AND the literal, stitched, captain's "C" at the same time... it just so happens that the two are homonymous. CAN I BE BLAMED FOR A COINCIDENCE

    Also, this blog does appear to have an immunity to ridiculous hype. I'll admit that if anybody is ever susceptible to it, though, it's me. If I use my head, I see through hype, but I'm such a big, dumb fanboy that I can be easily won over by heart-based demagoguery. Just a warning for the future.

  4. Come on, man. Hodgson's back is a story. His health is a legitimate concern considering it's given him so much trouble the last year and a bit. You can make the argument that there's too much hype around it, but it's a story all the same.

  5. I agree with Anonymous.

    Also Jan Bulis sucks!

  6. Oh no, the Anonymouses are ganging up on me!

    I agree that his health is a concern, but the story is that he's been training with Gary Roberts, who knows a little something about overcoming injuries. It's not a story that he's not in Vancouver yet and it's not a story that they're doing a medical evaluation, because that's what they're doing with every single prospect coming to camp. It's misleading to frame it this way.

  7. As an addendum, even if it turns out that he's not 100% and they want to rest him for the prospects tournament, the fact that he's going through medical evaluations is not a story. If a medical issue comes up for one of the other prospects (such as if Yann Sauve is hurt after being in a car accident), they will also rest him for the tournament.

    At the very least, if the media wants to report that Hodgson will undergo medical testing, it should be done without the alarmist attitude that I've seen out of the Team 1040 and other media outlets.

  8. Obviously his back is a story. The media, though, are perpetuating the notion that Hodgson and Gillis aren't getting along. Everything Hodgson does is misinterpreted as a snub against the Canucks and Gillis, and everything Gillis and Gilman say is misinterpreted as some sort of complaint that Hodgson isn't the model prospect.

    The media rarely, if ever, creates a bs story out of thin air. They aren't deliberately dishonest. What we see in the media is the direct result of many people working the same beat that produces very little information. Each media person has to keep reporting on the same tiny story, so they keep looking for angles to talk about it. They then report on each other's angles, and wonder aloud if there's any truth to them. Ultimately, they manufacture details or motives that just don't exist. In this case, they overanalyze Hodgson's actions like seeking a second doctor's opinion or missing certain Canucks events. It quickly becomes an "Is this a snub?" story.

    Truth is, Gillis wouldn't botch a prospect like Hodgson, and he made it clear the guy had a chance to play his way onto the team. Hodgson wouldn't botch his chance to be an NHL player by burning bridges with the team that drafted him. Most of the media-generated concern over this issue is erroneous. How's that for a word? Erroneous.

  9. Jan Bulis blows balls. Kurtenblog4Lyfe.

  10. I'm not sure if this last anonymous commenter is aware of the ongoing discussion.

  11. While I have a great deal of respect for the Kurtenblog, in this instance, they were operating without all the facts and gave in to the media hype somewhat with regards to a "rift between Hodgson and the Canucks."

    AV's comments were before the second opinion actually turned anything up, and the man responded as one would when hearing that someone was complaining of a medical problem that Canucks doctors assured him didn't exist. He wasn't snide. He was trying to explain Hodgson's actions as understandable.

    Gillis's comments saying that there was no rift were perfectly reasonable, and the only place where I think Jason Brough really dropped the ball is his failure to include a direct quote, rather than just a link.

    Hodgson's comments sound like those of a kid who's just realizing that he has to be very careful what he says lest he be quoted out of context. He's trying to quell a non-story by not talking about it, but of course the reaction is "It must be a sore issue."

    Essentially, the Kurtenblog shows a very clear timeline of how just about everything said has been misinterpreted. Jason Brough bought into the hype a little bit, but I still enjoy his other blogs and mean no slight to him. He's a talented hockey writer, I just think he got this one wrong.


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