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Ex-Canuck Cody Hodgson just signed a 6-year deal with Buffalo
If you're a fan of telephone tag, you'll know that former Canuck Cody Hodgson always wanted to be the team's No. 2 (probably really No. 1) centreman, and that didn't sit well with head coach Alain Vigneault or the franchise's management.
How much of that is true? Well, it doesn't matter anymore.
Vigneault doesn't coach the Canucks, and Cody Hodgson is a first-line centre with the Buffalo Sabres. He's closer to his childhood home, Markham, and right next to his province, Ontario.
On Wednesday, Hodgson also got his wish, signing for first-line money and first-line term – a brand spankin' new six-year, $25.5 million deal ($4.25 million per season) – with the Sabres.
"Good for Hodgson, though one wonders if the Sabres shouldn't have been more insistent on it," wrote Yahoo! Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney, who compared Hodgon's contract in a favourable light up against Nazem Kadri's.
(Kadri just re-signed with Toronto for less and shorter than Hodgson did with Buffalo.)
"While Hodgson gave them (Buffalo) 34 points in 48 games in his first full season in Buffalo, the lockout-shortened year isn't really much of a full season. Furthermore, while he produced quite a bit, his defensive struggles were so pronounced that Ron Rolston dropped him to the fourth line late in the season, much like Alain Vigneault often did with Hodgson in Vancouver.
"That's a lot of money to commit to a guy that still hasn't proven he can play in both ends. A shorter-term contract would have given the Sabres more time to observe the player -- like, say, 80 games, at least. Instead, they gave Hodgson big-time term, and now they're just going to have to hope that was wise."
Full credit goes to Mooney, who's a Vancouver reporter and fully resisted the urge to mention the Canucks even once in his post (unlike myself).
It will be a condition going forward, however, for all fans of VanCity Puck. We'll never be able to forget that we let him walk on without effort to keep him or accommodate him, even if Zach Kassian turns out to be a player we'd like to tie our sails to (and I think he has the potench).
We'll look at every highlight reel goal he scores from now-onward and we'll always picture it happening in our jersey instead.
And, while it's pretty nice to see the kid wind up with his dream job (or, at least, dream position), we'll always watch his career progress with an odd mix of pride and bitterness, knowing he's worth the money and we couldn't afford him.