I haven't posted earlier about Chris Hodgson's decision to leave the UNB hockey program over the Christmas break, as there have been few details until today, but The Daily Gleaner's Bill Hunt has the scoop midway through his weekly column: Hodgson is hoping to play football as StFX and is already working out with the team.
Hodgson, an imposing 235 pounds on a broad shouldered 6'3" frame, is sort of UNB's version of Georges Laraque. He became an instant fan favourite at the 2007 University Cup, as he ran roughshod over the UofS Huskies, and later the Alberta Golden Bears. This was after he was worked gradually into the UNB line-up after Christmas that season and settled into his role of being an opponent-seeking freight train. However the next season and this 2009-10 season, Hodgson was hitting less and appeared to be trying to become more of a skilled player. In only nine games played in the first half this season he scored 4 goals on 9 shots, but he really didn't have any memorable hits. Combine that with an arm injury, and Hodgson had a hard time getting ice time. If he had played a more physical game ... who knows?
Hodgson is a natural athlete and a character. When interviewed in the fall by the ice-level reporter for Rogers TV, Hodgson stated that his favourite non-hockey activities are eating and working out. He set provincial speed skating records in his youth, is an avid skateboarder, and has his own YouTube channel. This summer he attempted senior baseball as a left-handed pitcher, but had trouble getting guys out. His father is locally-famous Paul Hodgson, who had a brief injury-shortened career with the Toronto Blue Jays. Chris is also apparently a pretty good volleyball player.
Interestingly, back in the fall UNB had a social function where each member of the team was introduced and presented his jersey by a prominent alumnus or supporter. Hodgson got his jersey from former UNB football coach and athletic director Jim Born, who was asked what position Chris could have played on his teams: "Fullback!"
UPDATE: Bill Hunt follows up his column with the full story in Saturday's Daily Gleaner.
Hodgson wants to be big hit at X