by Ron Spence

Cody Hodgson was watching his first game – ever – as a healthy scratch.

Manitoba was playing in game 4 of the Calder Cup finals and were down 2 games to 1, and coach Arniel wanted some more AHL-level fire power.

As it was, Manitoba lost and are now down 3 games to 1.

Arniel was making decisions to win the game – not to accomodate the Canucks.

They had done the same thing with another Vancouver prospect – Daniel Rahimi – during the regular season.

“Apparently, his contributions have not been enough,” wrote Hockey’s Future, “as the Moose recently chose to relegate him to their reserve list for the remainder of the season, meaning he can only be called up on an emergency basis as cover for injuries or suspensions.”

Manitoba are using their own players, plus prospects from the Canucks, Stars and Coyotes and can’t cater to just one NHL team.


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But, this has been good for the Canucks – a tradeoff of sorts. With top players from various NHL teams, the Moose are competing at a higher level and are thus getting further into the post-season, and giving their good players more experience.

“I think we are all extremely proud of how they’re doing and the fact our players are getting this type of experience,” said Mike Gillis. “You couldn’t ask for more and we’re all quite pleased. It’s really exciting to see how our young players have been developed.”

Also, the ‘nucks prospects are learning – or continuing to learn – a winning attitude.

They are learning leadership, how to face adversity, etc.

“We have a lot of veteran experience on this year’s team and there is no panic in us,” Cory Schneider said. “If things aren’t going our way, we just go to work and get it done. We have the feeling like we’re supposed to win. We did it all regular season and we just feel like we’re the better team and can win every game we play.”


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courtesy of

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With Vancouver’s terrible draft history, they couldn’t field their own farm team anyways.

But if they could, it would be a team that would continually lose – creating a negative attitude – and wouldn’t afford the gifted players the chance to play into the post-season.

Next season, the Texas Stars will be playing in Cedar Park in the Austen area, so their 2008-09 Moose players will be deep in the heart of Texas.

And Vancouver will have a number of good draft picks – in June – and some free agent signings to help fill out the Moose roster.

It will become truly a Canucks affiliate, but with somewhat less talent.

But, Vancouver’s better players are gaining the benefit this season – whether they win the Calder Cup or not.


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