Buffalo Sabres fans, let’s open this post by finding common ground: no matter how you feel about the new contract that Cody Hodgson signed with the Sabres yesterday, I think we can all agree that we’re glad this deal got done before players hit the ice for training camp.
Yes? Good. Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this post:
Were the Buffalo Sabres smart to offer Hodgson a 6-year deal worth $25.5 million?
If we only focus on the dollars-and-cents part of the deal, this contract seems like a slam-dunk. Hodgson will make $4.25 million a year, which means he is slightly overpaid for NOW, but should he prove to be a true first-line center, he will be a bargain down the road. You can’t find many – any? – first-line centers in the NHL making that “little” amount of money per year. (Makes me wish I made such a little amount!) As an added bonus, the contract leaves the Sabres with some room in cap, should they go looking for someone to sign. (I know – they won’t, but it’s good to have the option.)
On the other hand . . . a lot of Buffalo Sabres fans have spent the past few seasons watching Tyler Myers, he of the 7-year contract worth $38 million, fail to live up to expectations. Sure, Hodgson played first-line minutes last season . . . but the argument can easily be made that he would be lucky to be a second-line player on almost any other team, maybe even a third-liner on some of the teams that made the playoffs last year. He still has a lot to work on, especially defensively, so isn’t a two-year bridge contract what the Sabres should have offered, in order to make sure he is actually turning into the player they want/need him to be?
The money is good, and it’s nice to see a player want to lock himself into the system for six-years . . . but is this contract going to make CoHo complacent, a la Tyler Myers? Eeesh. Glad you’re the ones voting! Have at it!