Hodgson joins Canucks for playoffs

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:25 AM ET

The Manitoba Moose will be without one of their top point producers when the Calder Cup playoffs begin next week.

Although the official paperwork wonít be filed for another day or two, it became apparent on Saturday night that rookie centre Cody Hodgson is joining the Vancouver Canucks for the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Hodgson was seen shaking hands with his teammates, his bags and sticks were packed and he confirmed to the media he was about to get his first taste of the post-season in the NHL ó though heís not yet sure where heíll fit in.

ďObviously, itís tough leaving here with guys that Iíve been with all year, going into playoff time and crunch time is when you want to go and really show your worth and your value to your teammates,Ē said Hodgson, who had 17 goals and 30 points in 52 American Hockey League games this season and a goal and two points in eight NHL games with the Canucks. ďIím getting a great opportunity in Vancouver and itíll be a great experience. Something Iím looking forward to.

ďI donít know what the story is. Thatís a question for somebody else. Iím just going to go and do my best, wherever I am. If Iím practicing or playing, Iím going to give it one gear and thatís full speed and hope for the best.Ē

With Raffi Torres suspended and Manny Malhotra lost for the season with an eye injury, the Canucks played Saturdayís regular-season finale against the Calgary Flames with defenceman Aaron Rome playing on the fourth line, so thereís a real possibility will get thrown right into the proverbial fire on either the third or fourth line.

ďItís every kidís dream to play for the Stanley Cup and thereís a great chance in Vancouver,Ē said Hodgson, the Canucks first round selection (10th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. ďIím looking forward to stepping in, hopefully being able to play and help contribute.Ē

Hodgson admits heís done plenty of learning during his first pro season.

ďThereís been lots of stuff, learning from the veterans here and seeing how guys conduct themselves,Ē said Hodgson. ďIíve felt progressively better throughout the season, physically, mentally. I feel a lot more comfortable on the ice.Ē

The Canucks are also expected to recall winger Victor Oreskovich in the coming days.

Oreskovich had four goals and 12 points in 40 games with the Moose and one assist in 10 games with the Canucks.

The Moose expect to open the playoffs on Thursday in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters.


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