The Stevie Moses experiment failed. The Cody Hodgson experiment isn’t far behind. After being placed on waivers yesterday by the Nashville Predators the 25-year old forward has cleared and is being assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals.
Normally I would share a “Press Release via Nashville Predators” about here. Unfortunately Hodgson’s press release is far shorter than anything Predators General Manager David Poile had to say about him when he was placed on waivers yesterday:
“We signed him to enhance our (offense) and it didn’t happen,” Poile said. “You look for other areas that maybe a player can help you — checking or penalty killing or some other area. Really, I think we were pretty honest with Cody and told him that he had to produce offensively, and he hasn’t. This is the move.”
Yeah, that sounded like a bit of a flamethrower at the end – but he’s right. Hodgson’s career regression at the NHL level speaks for itself. In the 2013-14 season he produced 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) in 72 games for the Buffalo Sabres. The last two-seasons he has recorded 9 goals from 117 games. He had produced 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 39 games for the Predators this season and bows out after being a healthy scratch the last three games.
What does this mean for the Admirals? It means adding another Viktor Stålberg level project to the mix. It has it’s pros and cons. The pros are that the Admirals are getting an NHL level talent added to the roster which means the depth gets stronger. The cons are mostly going to come down to how this all plays between Hodgson’s ears from this point forward. Is he taking this moment as a challenge or is he taking it in stride and just looking to wait out his contract, not care about the Admirals and earn his NHL level cash from the Predators, and think about where he goes in the off-season? That’s all entirely on him. Last season’s version wasn’t particularly great for just such reasons which makes seeing the follow up moves to come rough to stomach.
Hodgson’s entrance likely means a goodbye to either Matt White (who is on a PTO contract) or Joe Pendenza who would be sent to the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). It’s no knock against their performances. They would simply be falling victim to the numbers in Milwaukee.
So what Hodgson will the Admirals be getting? It’s an interesting question and dilemma. He has played 71 career games at the AHL level and produced 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). The way Poile spoke of him makes me feel like even a solid AHL run of form for him probably isn’t enough to see him claw back to Nashville anytime soon. I question the motivation level of a player in Hodgson’s position at a point like this. Luckily, the Admirals experienced such a situation a season ago and should get the proper handle on that before it begins. Hodgson in the AHL could be a great thing right now for both himself and the Admirals. He just needs to find his form again. And what better place to do it than a place he hasn’t played since 1/5/13, the AHL.