Apr. 14, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson (19) is greeted by fans on the way to the ice before a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Nazem Kadri Signs Bridge Deal In Toronto

That’s what you get now a days.  Young NHL players have a decent start to their career, and think they are entitled to a long term deal worth big bucks.  On the day before training camps began  – Nazem Kadri has signed a two year “bridge” deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 5.8 million dollars.

With Cody Hodgson remaining a hold out for Buffalo Sabres training camp – could Kadri’s deal be enough to move contract talks with the Buffalo Sabres young center in the Sabres favor and get number 19 into camp?

There is plenty at stake with Hodgson out of the lineup.  As the Sabres “number one center” – he would be tapped as linemate for Thomas Vanek.  If the Buffalo Sabres are serious at trying to keep Vanek in blue and gold for the rest of his career – giving him a teammate that he can count on – and be familiar with going into the season might go a long way.

There is a touch of bad blood between the Buffalo Sabres and Thomas Vanek – even if neither party wants to admit it – stemming from the Buffalo Sabres sending former captain and friend of Thomas Vanek to the Minnesota Wild last trade deadline.

In an interview with the Buffalo News, Hodgson said

I like it here and we’ll get something done. I don’t know how much it’s going to help if I comment on it now. I’m just going to let them do their thing. I’d rather just leave it up to them.”

Hodgson wasn’t happy with his situation with the Vancouver Canucks and his lack of ice time – and basically forced the teams hand in moving him.  If he is truly happy here – the Buffalo Sabres need to get him under contract.  At the same time, while he has proven worth in the NHL – he is a long way from making demands and being treated like an elitist player.

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