Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Daily Poll: Is Cody Hodgson a Number One Centre?

After acquiring Cody Hodgson from the Vancouver Canucks and then resigning him to a 6 year deal, the Buffalo Sabres made it pretty clear they wanted to move forward with Hodgson leading the way. Then the Sabres landed Matt Moulson, instantly there were concerns about whether Hodgson would be able to play with Moulson and after an 11 game drought there was some doubt.

Rich wrote last week about how Moulson’s struggles could be related to the fact he’s no longer playing with John Tavares. It got me

thinking about whether Cody Hodgson has what it takes to be the Sabres number one centre going forward or if he even has what it takes to be a number one centre.

All throughout his days with the Brampton Battalion Hodgson was thought to be a can’t miss prospect who would have a solid NHL career. He won the CHL player of the year in 2009 and was a key member of Team Canada’s gold medal winning junior team in 2009 where he led the tournament in scoring. Everything was pointing up for Hodgson. He was then taken 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2009 draft and that’s when his career really started to turn.

He was hit with injury after injury and was continually sent back to the OHL and AHL. When he finally did enough to crack the Canucks roster he was nothing more than a 3rd or 4th line centre. He asked for a trade, caused trouble and soon became a member of the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline in 2012. He was immediately cast as the Buffalo Sabres number one centre playing on a line with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville.

Fast forward to this season and Hodgson is still that number one centre but his game is far from where a number one centre’s game should be. His defencive game is weak and has shown little improvement even under Lindy Ruff who played a defence first game.

One could argue the reason Hodgson is still the Sabres number one centre is because they have no one else to fill the role. Mikhail Grigorenko is not ready to fill those shoes, Steve Ott is not a number one centre and you don’t want Tyler Ennis as your first line centre. Right now the Sabres don’t have any other options for the first line centre; But do the Buffalo Sabres need to go out an acquire a centre or can they get by with Cody Hodgson?

Cody Hodgson has been doing his job this season. He’s leading the team in scoring and is the only player on pace to reach 30 points this season. But going forward does he have it to continue as the number one centre? Or should the Buffalo Sabres go an acquire another number one centre?

When looking at the Cody Hodgson argument you have to look at his time with the Canucks. During his time with the Canucks they were a team that was challenging for the Stanley Cup and Hodgson had a tough time cracking the roster and was no where near the top line centre spot. If he can’t be the number one centre on a Cup contending team, doesn’t that show that if the Sabres want to compete for a Cup they need a new centre?

Vote in the poll below and then sound off in comments below about Cody Hodgson. Also let’s have some fun, who would you like to see as the Buffalo Sabres number one centre in the future?

Is Cody Hodgson the Number One Centre of the Sabres Future?

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Cody Hodgson

  • Dano

    Good Article CC.

    I think you nailed it perfectly in stating that Cody was the 3rd line center on the Nucks. He was behind Sedin and Kessler ( first 2 lines ). In Buffalo, Cody is the best center available.

    Since the Days of Drury and Briere, there hasnt been a ‘ gifted ‘ centerman that has good ice vision in Buffalo. Cody is a fine hockey player, and given 2 solid scoring wingmen, he might do better. His defensive game needs LOTS of work though.

    Time will tell.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Thanks for the read Dano! We were hoping Grigorenko would be that centre but it’s looking unlikely now.

      • Dano

        The day Grigorenko is on the starting line in Buffalo, I wont be attending any of their games till hes gone. Hopefully the KHL takes him off Buffalos hands.

        • Jes

          Wow, you’d stop watching the Sabres if a Russian born player is on the first line? Wow man you need help…

          • Dano

            Wow, your a 28 yr old kid whom just started watching hockey maybe a decade ago? Your a troll whom calls others ‘ stupid ‘ or ‘ douche ‘ like you know everything when your not even capable of playing the game.

            Maybe its your brain thats failed, not your kidneys?

            I need help? No, you need help and I dont know if theres anyone around these forums whom is qualified and has an available couch for you to attend on. That insinuation might be a bit much for your comprehension levels. If you dont understand the infliction, no apology is warranted.

            Maybe instead of looking for arguments all the time, you should consider a bit of courtesy towards others.

            If you ever played the game, and understood the mood of a locker room or even what ‘ team work ‘ is, you might have a comprehension level capable of seeing exactly why I dont care for most of the early russian players and the legacy that has come from them.

            I cant blame you for being ignorant, I have seen some reports that its a social problem that could have some genetic inclinations. Neither of which you should shoulder 100% of the blame for.

            To put this into terms you can fully understand ( and Im giving you the benefit of doubt here.. I know, a stretch.. ) , find the means to educate yourself. Know why others believe in what they do and try to understand their perspective before calling them names and saying ‘ they ‘ need some kind of help.

            To show your small minded comment for what it is, –>

            “Wow, you’d stop watching the Sabres if a Russian born player is on the first line?”

            Such is insinuation on your part. I stated “The day Grigorenko is on the starting line in Buffalo..”. Specific to the individual, not a group. By your logic, all colored folks are probably considered gang-bangers and those whom live in the country side are all rednecks. Such is the presentation of your literary skills. Im sure your not THAT bad of a human being, but thats how you are presenting yourself. I wish you the best in correcting such on your own thoughts someday.

            By your mindset, you arent capable of seeing the difference in what we have both stated.

            Read a book guy, it will do you some good. Then again, can you actually read whats written? It doesnt appear so.

          • JHizzle75

            I am a long time Sabres fan, but have only been on this forum for a short time. Is there some sort of feud between you and Jes? Seems like quite a rant for the minor misunderstanding on Jes’ part. Not trying to start anything,
            just don’t understand the over-the-top reaction….

          • Dano

            In the past, instead of trying to reason on a disagreement, he decided to refer to myself as a ‘ douche ‘, ‘ stupid ‘ and a few other choice comments.

            I didnt bite into his flaming and he became a bit angered from it.

            Instead of thinking before hand that others, whom werent even involved in the conversation might have to deal with such, he just went and did it. Basic simple minded reactionary type of thought process. Didnt think about others before hand..

            To his benefit, he did apologize ( after someone pointed his discrepancy out ) to those on the forum but to this day, he has some anger that he just cant seem to get a grasp on. It might be that hes just not capable of doing such? Maybe ( and to use a term he can understand ) hes just that ‘ stupid ‘ and doesnt appreciate others whom dont cater to him or acknowledge he knows things others dont?

            Whatever his ‘ issues ‘ are ( more like subscriptions ;) ), he should put them aside and realize ( as he did before ) that there are others outside of himself and those whom he doesnt agree with that have to have their reading pleasures disturbed because of his emotional instability ( possibly an inferiority complex ).

            In all honesty, I dont like to get involved with the ignorant. They dumb one down to their levels and defeat them with experience. :D

            All he need do is to understand that the forums are for everyone. It doesnt take much to just ‘ move on ‘ and not go looking for further conflicts.

            I do have some pity for those like him and genuine sorrow that they just cannot seem to find enjoyment in their lives outside of trying to start incident with others.

            Maybe if he just said ‘ truce ‘ and moved on, he would find things more to his liking. Im sure others would.

          • JHizzle75

            Fair enough

          • Jes

            LOL JHizzle don’t listen to this guy. This guy is as dumb as they come. As he says he disagrees with me, but what he doesn’t tell you is that he starts insulting me then I have to stand up for myself. I’m not gonna be bullied by the guy. Guys a total douche bag. You’ll notice that more and more while the time passes.

            Oh Dano it’s hard not to get angry at retards like you who come on here and pretend to know it all when they know nothing. If you wanna have a meaningful conversation with me then go right ahead but you fucking say shit to me I’m going to come right back with by saying shit to you. You honestly are probably the most stupid person I’ve talked to on a sports message board and believe me I ran into my fair share. You are very confrontational and when you get all pissy with someone and you expect them to not comeback at you? If you think that then you are even a bigger idiot then I realized.

          • wolfdoctor

            I agree. It seems Dano is flipping out over nothing.

          • Dano

            Im not ‘ flipping out ‘ at all.

            I walked away from his temper tantrum once and here he is again..

          • Jes

            How the hell did you walk away? You started this whole thing… Go look at your past posts lazy Russians this and that. So my reply was more then justifiable. And like I said before you think no ones going to defend themselves after the BS you wrote yesterday? Then you are sorely mistaken. Me angry? I have a right to be… Make jokes about a persons health condition and you expect nothing in return. Yet I said my peace and then you come back with another joke about my health…. Pretty cool man….

          • Jes

            First off what kind of person tries to use a persons health condition to get a little jab in? Only the lowest of the low take that route, guess we know where you are ranked (Bottom of the barrel – hey something you and the Sabres have in common).

            I started following the Sabres in 96 and I was watching hockey since 93. So ya been watching hockey for more then a decade. And honestly a guy watching hockey for month could have more to contribute to this board hockey knowledge wise then you. I have played hockey and know what to expect in the locker room so on and so forth.

            Have you seen your fuckin posts lately? Lazy Russian this, Lazy Russian that… Obviously you have something against the Russians. So that is why I mentioned that….

            How is it by my logic rednecks are colored? Do you ever read the mindless dribble you write? Seriously man you have the IQ of a pre-teen. Go get yourself an education before you speak to me. Until then go fuck yourself.

          • Dano

            JHizzle75 ( and others )..

            I present to you ‘ Jes ‘ in his full glory. Take him for what hes worth.

            Ive tried to stay clear of responding to your posts ( Jes ) for the sake of everyones enjoyment of this forum, yet you wish to continually start these diatribes.

          • Jes

            You think I’m not going to come at you with foul language after you diss me about my health condition? Then your sorely mistaken… Yes a topic of CoHo has turned into something else that has been taken all overboard by you. Anyone ever tell you that your kind of like those O’Doyle guys off of Billy Madison? You think so highly of yourself but in the end you always come crashing down. Like I said don’t talk about me until you get that third grade education that your ma and pa couldn’t afford when you were a child, and again until then go…..

            O’Dano Rules lol

  • Joe

    If the sabres dont do something about a number one center over the next 2 yrs itll be like regier never left

    • Caitlin Campbell

      hahah you bet it will be. We can’t get rid of this guy eh?

      • Joe Mazurkiewicz

        HAHAHA Darcy may be gone but the STINK still lingers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jimbobv2

    You can do this with more than just the center position.

    Is Matt Moulson the Sabres 1st line LW of the future?

    Is Drew Stafford the Sabres 1st line RW of the future?

    Heck, you can do that with the whole 2nd line, practically.

    The Sabres need a lot of things. A big time first line center is just one thing on the list. Two first line wingers to flank the mythical #1 center are up there, too.

    • Joe

      Moulson proved he could be a number one lw and a very reliable one at that scoring 30+ goals thenlast several seasons so i havgto disagree with u on that one

      • wolfdoctor

        But I doubt he will be here next year.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          that’s they mystery will he stay or not… I’d like him to but I doubt he will

          • Jes

            In his head he’s already gone. He will probably end up with the Isles again.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            blah I want him to stay :(

      • Caitlin Campbell

        I agree Joe, in my mind he’s already proved himself as a top notch winger. Hopefully he sticks

      • jimbobv2

        The question is who is the Sabres #1 LW of the future.

        Moulson is likely gone by the trade deadline. So while he’s a good 1st line LW, he’s not the answer long term for the Sabres.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Great point Jim, I will do the Moulson question tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions

      • Jes

        Also CC Adam looks like he’s turned a corner. Could turn into a 2nd line center? Or do you think he’s got first line potential?

        • jimbobv2

          Luke Adam is not a top 6 player on a Cup contender, IMO.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            TBH that’s all up to Adam. He centred the first line and did so quite well- if Adam wants to be a top 6 player he’ll make an impact and be a top 6 forward thats the trick with him it’s all about whether he wants to work

          • jimbobv2

            Adam rode the coattails of Vanek and Pominville for a month or two and that’s it.

            That is hardly enough to indicate that he has top 6 potential long term.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          It’s honestly hard to place him right now- I’ve written a post about him for later today. He’s a completely different player. I think he has top 6 potential if paired with the right guys

    • Jes

      Awesome points. Can’t believe some people are so in love with Stafford now. I know he’s playing good, but still?

  • Richard Spalding

    I don’t mean to offend anyone, but (so far) nine people in this vote need to watch more hockey . . . .

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Up to 15 people now… haha

      • Richard Spalding

        Nope – 17!

        • Caitlin Campbell

          28 people- maybe that’s why they’re just “fans” haha I kid

    • wolfdoctor

      It depends how you define “future.” I think Hodgson could be the Sabres # 1 center for 2-4 years simply because nobody better is available or will become available.

      • Richard Spalding

        I’ll give you that – your definition of the word future determines how you vote.

      • Caitlin Campbell

        Good point by future I mean long-term build a franchise around

        • wolfdoctor

          That’s what I figured you meant. I just don’t see any #1 center prospects in our prospect pipeline. We’d have to draft one in the next draft, unless a team like Winnipeg would be willing to trade somebody like Evander Kane. Kane and Winnipeg management have had their battles and we’d have to wonder if Kane has an attitude problem. But the same was said about Hodgson and he turned out ok.

          Myers and Ennis for Kane ?

          • JHizzle75

            I like the idea of Kane, but if Buffalo gives Myers AND Ennis I would want Patrick Kane in return. Lol. Seriously, though… I think Ennis and one of our many picks( 1st or 2nd round). I still think we should try Myers as a forward, he’s got too much potential to give up on. He’s playing much better under Nolan, but he’s simply not mean enough to be a D man, you can’t teach that nastiness.
            As far as Legwand is concerned, you mentioned earlier that I would know more about him than you. I’m wondering why you think that. Is it because I live out West and maybe see him play more? For the record, the Oilers are my west team( sorry about my luck!) and I do see Nashville play a few times a year. I like his style of play and he’s probably not a #1 Center , but I basically just went down the list of UFA centers and threw his name out there, kind of like how you just looked at his stats. I don’t consider myself any more knowledgable than anyone else on this forum, but I do enjoy the banter and ” what if’s “. If someone responds to one of my brain farts I’m more than happy to engage them . Lol. Thanks for your input.

          • wolfdoctor

            I agree with trying Myers as a forward.

            GMs around the league, though, have a lower opinion of Myers than he had a few years ago. That’s why my trade idea of Myers and Ennis for Evander Kane was thrown out there. Also Evander Kane is only 22 and has been playing since age 18. He’s put up, historically, outstanding numbers for a player of his age.

            Legwand? I was certain that you had watched him play a lot more than I have. In fact I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him play.

          • JHizzle75

            I hear ya. Winnipeg would probably want an arm and a leg for Kane anyway. He’s their franchise player. Too bad they’re not looking for a goalie!

    • [email protected]

      By chastising those who vote/will vote yes, you have influenced the polls! I demand a recount! lol

      • Richard Spalding

        Ha! The validity of the poll is now in question!!!!

  • wolfdoctor

    Hockey’s Future has the following Sabres prospects listed as centers: Grigorenko, Girgensons. Larsson, Compher, Hurley, Kea, Varone, Sundher, Schaller, Nelson, Malone.

    I guess if we keep drafting centers, eventually one will become an acceptable #1 center. The top centers in the 2014 draft (according to Craig’s List) are Reinhart, Bennett and some sites have Draisaitl as a center as well. I don’t think we will be able to trade for a #1 center unless he happens to be a troublemaker and his team just wants to get rid of him. Are number one centers ever available as free agents? If so why would his team not do everything to resign him and would he want to come to Buffalo anyway ? Unfortunately, I think Hodgson will have to do for a while, possibly quite a while.

    • Jes

      Sometimes they are but they get scooped up within hours of free agency opening. Drafting is the best shot we have at getting a number one. Drafting in the top 3 that is.

      Buffalo’s not a popular destination for players. Even more so now that we are rebuilding so ya I doubt any big time free agents sign here.

      Trading is an option as well but high profile centers are usually untradeable and ultimately become franchise players. So that basically makes them untradeable.

    • JHizzle75

      If it was possible, I’d like to see Buffalo go after Legwand. Ott and McCormick are UFA’s, as is Legwand. Problem is, I would like to see Ott on 3rd line, and I’m a big McCormick fan on 4th line. So that leaves Girgensons, Ennis, Hodgson, Grigs. A trade to acquire Legwand would have to be on the condition that he will sign past this season. Suggestions?

      • wolfdoctor

        Legwand is 33 years old. I can’t see the Sabres going after him unless they decide they are no longer pursuing their youth movement. In 15 seasons, he’s only had one 60 point season and if you take away that one season he has a negative career +/-. You definitely know more about him than I do, though. I can only look at the stats. Can he be a number one center for the Sabres?

      • Dano

        What about Pirri ( Chicago ) or Eakin ( Dallas )?

        Legwand would be a nice acquisition, and theres plenty of cap room for him but how much would his age factor in AND is he willing to come to a team thats supposedly ‘ rebuilding ‘?

        • JHizzle75

          Hey Dano, sorry it took so long to respond. Had troubles getting on this site today. I don’t think Legwands age would be an issue, he’s got some good years left, I think. My hope is by the time his contract( 3 or 4 years) is done, our young centers will be NHL ready. ( Reinhart, too…maybe)

  • Jes

    Hodgson definitely isn’t a number one center on a Stanley Cup team. He’s a number two. He is definitely number one center on a bad team.

    I don’t know how people voted yes? We are pretty bad so 2nd liners will be our first liners, 3rd liners our 2nd liners and so on and so forth. If his defensive game gets better in the next year he’s got a shot at being a legitimate number one. But as it stand right now he is a 2nd line center.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I like that logic Jes, move everyone up a line, IMO he’s between a 2nd or 3rd line centre on a contending team. If he improves his defence then he definitely has the tools to be that #1 guy it’s just a mater of whether he uses them

  • JHizzle75

    While I am not a Hodgson-hater, I don’t think he’s a first line center. He has offensive gifts, but it is a centre’s job to take care of his own end…be the first forward back,etc. He really needs to work on that.
    As for now, there are a few good upcoming UFA’s. Jumbo Joe…. Ha ha
    David Legwand? Ollie Jokinen? Derek Roy! Maybe Varlamov goes to jail and we ship Miller for Stanstny? Or just sign Stanstny as a free agent this summer?
    Hodgson is the victim of being the best threat on a mediocre team, that’s all. He’ll be here for a while so I hope we get a true 1st line Center soon, I’m sure his play will improve without the pressure.

    • Jes

      I doubt Statsny would sign here seeing that him and Saaco were always bumping heads when Saaco was in Colorado. But maybe new GM will hire a whole new coaching staff or Nolan may just pick his own assistants.

      Ollie Jokinen isn’t capable of starting IMO, 2nd line at best.

      Derek Roy – wasn’t he pretty bad in the locker room? I don’t think he’d make a good number one.

      Thornton would be a great pickup and an awesome mentor to some of the kids and could possibly teach Hodgson the defensive side of the game like he’s done with Pavelski and Cotoure.

      Legwand basically everything that Thornton can do. If we do end up hiring Fenton as GM maybe he can lure Legwand away from Nashville.

      • jimbobv2

        Legwand is nowhere near Jumbo Joe from an offensive talent POV.

        This team needs to draft a #1 center or trade for a young guy that can be a #1 center and not look to UFA.

  • Jes

    I’d like to apologize to everyone who read mine and Dano’s post earlier (Minus Dano of course).

    • Dano

      “When someone rips on you because of your health condition then it’s no holds barred.”

      So, you should freely be allowed to litter all over the forums and denigrate others because you feel the need to? No holds barred? Really? Nobody else here should be considered?

      You make such a statement AFTER all the comments you have made? That long list..

      ” I know a lot of you don’t like swearing in posts like Vic.. “.. yet you just go ahead and do it anyway.. Because things have to be your way?

      If its not your way, people are idiots, stupid, a douche.. or one of many other comments from a long list of terms.

      Do you feel SO OFFENDED that Rich, CC, Tim and the other staff here should have to go around and clean up the mess from the content you leave?

      *If* I was picking on you about your medical conditions, I would have made some comment about your worrying all the time of tripping on the power cord to your dialysis machine or ask how long that donors list your waiting on is. I would offer you a couple dollars to buy an extension cord so you can get out into the sun or reach some fresh air. I would say something like Ive enjoyed my 40+ years of life watching/playing hockey, what are the odds you will make it that far?

      Such would be the equivalent of the flaming you perform, insult for insult, no different from one to the other.

      Unlike you, theres a certain respect level for others ( including you ) that I try not to sink below.

      If you want ‘ no holds barred ‘, I think such would be unfair to the staff. Did you even consider their positions before deciding to have a free for all ‘ no holds barred ‘ run of the mouth before making such a comment?

      Just how many times do you think you can go through life flaming, then offering an apology before someone finally says ‘ Sorry guy, enough already ‘ and leaves you out of the conversation?

      • Jes

        Are you retarded or something? Yet you made another joke about my health condition bravo… Again you are the lowest of the low. I have less then zero respect for assholes like you. Queen of confrontation that is what you are. Did you ever consider what you wrote would hit all the necessary buttons needed for a reply like that? Ya man if we were face to face the reply would be getting your ass kicked not a couple of swear words here and there. And a lot of people would do the same. Your probably a 40 year old virgin still living in his mom’s garage so I’ll ease up on you next. Your such an idiot man…

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  • Richard Spalding

    I go away for a few hours and look at what happens . . . :D

    Let’s save the more heated arguments for when the Leafs fans come trolling again!