April 23, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Steve Ott (9) handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Buffalo Sabres won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Three Months Later, Still No John Hancock.

Along with a defensive-heavy draft, the finalization of a head coach, and the attempt to resurrect the defense, the Buffalo Sabres have still not locked up one of their best forwards, Cody Hodgson.

That worries me……..a lot.

April 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson (19) faces off against Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly (23) during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

If the team fails to re-sign who is without a doubt our best center aside from Steve Ott, then some team will gladly pick him up and continue to reap the benefits he has to offer.

The 23-year old Hodgson, who showed us last year just what he is capable of, has been sitting in free agency much longer than I am personally comfortable with.

Since being with the Sabres, Hodgson’s number’s have gone up. Since his debut with the Vancouver Canucks, Hodgson has scored 35 goals, 42 assists, totaling 77 points in 139 career NHL games.

Despite whatever is going on with the whole Thomas Vanek drama, it is clear that Hodgson and Vanek were definitely a dynamic duo, spending the majority of the time on the same line, helping each other this entire season.

The center, who played in all 48 of last years games, is still a restricted free agent, so if he were to go, we would receive a draft pick or something in return. But if Darcy Regier let’s him go to get another draft pick, I will be furious. We can’t afford to lose someone who is just entering his prime and let him walk on to another team who will take him and use him to their full advantage.

Flashback to 2007. Do I even need to mention names? That was a nightmare, and the Sabres just haven’t been the same since. Ever since we let Drury and Briere walk out of Buffalo, fans constantly scream and shout about the lack of scoring. This is why!

Now I know Drury only had a few years left, and Briere played out his time in Philadelphia, moving to Montreal, where he will most likely retire, maybe signing a one day contract with us to retire a Sabre.

That being said, Darcy Regier, SIGN HODGSON.

Being in this rebuild, you can never be certain if one player or the next will be a part of the teams short or long term plans. But if there should be one exception, it should be him. 110%

Hodgson was second among rookies last season and ranked 33 with 380 wins in the faceoff circle last year. But that still needs to get better. Granted a bit of stage fright may have occurred going from just another name in Vancouver on his way up, to going to our number 1 center all in a matter of months. A lot to take on so quickly and young.

With centers like Steve Ott, who will most likely don the “C” this season, and Grigo about to blow up, maybe CoHo can start to take a load off and focus on his game, rather than try and keep the rest of the team afloat.

Should Cody Hodgson be signed, hopefully, within the next few weeks, where do you see him along with all of the other forwards? Give me your feedback!

Throw me some questions, maybe a follow, on Twitter! @seanmcgrath44

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