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Roberts backs off on calling Gillis a 'moron'

Gary Roberts is still passionate in his defense of Cody Hodgson. But he said today he shouldn't have used the word "moron" while fighting back against Hodgson's former general manager.

Speaking with Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto, Roberts said he's sorry for his word selection while sticking up for Hodgson against comments made by Canucks GM Mike Gillis.

"I absolutely apologize," Roberts told the AM radio station. "It's a long story. I apologize for using that word. I should not have used that word. Obviously, emotion was part of my game, as you guys know, and sometimes I didn't always make the right choice. As you can see, I'm still not making the right choices in maybe that word selection.

"But I felt that the time that I've spent with Cody Hodgson these last three years, to see the type of person he is and the commitment he's made to getting healthy and being the player that everybody expected him to be, I really felt strongly to make a stand for that young man the other day."

While discussing the February trade that sent Hodgson to Buffalo for Zack Kassian, Gillis said last week he "spent more time on Cody's issues than every other player combined on our team the last three years."

Roberts, who is entering his third summer of training Hodgson, defended the center during a phone interview with The News over the weekend.

"I talked to Cody after this came out with Gillis," Roberts said. "I know he's on vacation, and I said, 'Hey, I know you went through a lot of stress. How are you feeling about some of those comments?' He said, 'Gary, I've dealt with a lot of stuff there in the last three years, and I'm just going to take the high road.'

"For me, I'd like to be the guy that looks at Mike Gillis and says, 'You're a moron.' It doesn't really do anybody any good other than the fact that Mike Gillis looks like, as they say on TSN, a dud."

Roberts told the radio station today: "I apologize for that word. It should not have been used."

--John Vogl