Cody Hodgson has always been extremely polite and easy to deal with since he came into the NHL but when contacted this week about his excellent personal start to the season he really wanted to get something off his chest.

“I’ve been hearing all this stuff about my dad being involved with the team and making calls to the team and I wanted to tell everyone that my dad had nothing to do with it” said Hodgson about his somewhat ill-fated time in Vancouver when he was playing behind Henrik Sedin and a then-flying Ryan Kesler. “This isn’t Pee Wee hockey where the dad can call up the coach and interfere with what’s going on. This is professional hockey and that sort of thing doesn’t happen. He never called the team. You just can’t do that. That’s been bothering me for a long time and I want to clear that up. I’m not sure where all of that got started but my agent (Ritch Winter) handled the stuff with the team.”

That’s odd. Everyone was left with the clear implication that his father was almost the assistant GM here for a while and the club never did anything to change anyone’s thinking in that regard.

“And another thing: I never once asked for more ice time when I was in Vancouver even though the media asked me every day if I thought I should be playing more. I was just happy to be playing in the NHL when I was there at that stage of my career. When you guys in the media would ask me I told them then that I hadn’t asked for more ice time. There’s no way I was saying one thing to them and then going in behind closed doors and doing something else. I wouldn’t ever do that. That just isn’t me. Some day I’ll talk about my time in Vancouver but not right now.”

For a guy who’s going to say a lot more about his time here down the road he seemed to make a few points. And perhaps the point that’s been made loudest is how much this team now misses his presence given that Zack Kassian hasn’t exactly been Milan Lucic since he got here and the team’s search for a third-line centre is taking on the characteristics of the Flyers’ enduring search for a goaltender. The list of stiffs who have been plugged into that role since he left is significant. It always starts with Sami Pahlsson and most certainly won’t end with Brad Richardson whose offensive prowess is shall we say... limited. And this prolonged search coupled with the Hodgson trade itself is certainly a crushing indictment of this team’s professional scouting staff which flat out hasn’t been getting the job done.

Hodgson who is starting into the first season of a new six-year deal that calls for $4.25 million US per season is off to a pretty good start with the Sabres but Mike Gillis’s first-ever draft pick as the Canucks GM isn’t taking much satisfaction from it even though it’s been much better than the stats show. He’s been the victim of a few great saves made by goaltenders and he’s cranked that huge shot he has off posts a couple of times.

“I’ve had pretty good linemates (Tomas Vanek chief among them) and they certainly deserve a lot of credit but it doesn’t matter much if we’re not winning” he says of the still-winless Sabres. “We’ve been falling behind early in games and it’s been a whole series of little things every night that have added up to less offensive zone time. Our passing has been off a whole bunch of little issues adding up. We had a great pre-season but that doesn’t mean much now. We’ve got to find a way to get some more wins and get going.

“Personally I had a great summer (training with workout guru Gary Roberts) and I feel very strong and confident but as I say it’s wins that count in this league.”