Chris Stewart Trade Needs To Involve Cody Hodgson


There is no doubt that the crosshairs for every playoff team in need of depth are looking squarely at the Buffalo Sabres and Chris Stewart.   Stewart is on an expiring contract, and Tim Murray isn’t about to let player leave his organization for free.

Despite the fact that having Chris Stewart on your team when your better makes you a tougher team to play against, most likely you will see the Buffalo Sabres deal Chris Stewart ahead of this years trade deadline when the NHL freezes rosters leading up to the end of the regular season and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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I have not been the only one, but I have long been talking about how the Buffalo Sabres should sign Chris Stewart to a three year deal or longer, to keep him on your hockey team.  He is the type of power forward that the Buffalo Sabres could use, and having both him and Evander Kane on your team long term will go a long way in protecting your future stars, of which the team finally has a few to protect.

Teams will be hard pressed to take exceptions with guys like Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, and insert prospects name here if they know they have to deal with lines that include Evander Kane, Chris Stewart, and if they really wanted to stay tough – Nicolas Deslauriers on the third or fourth line.

Tim Murray will likely give you the line that they could be interested in Chris Stewart at the trade deadline, and resign Stewart after they get something for him.

I am usually not a fan of overpaying in a trade, but Tim Murray won’t shy away from it.  See the haul that the Winnipeg Jets got for Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane?  Any deal that ships Chris Stewart out of town will most likely bring back a similar return.

Pick any team that is willing to dance and trade with the Buffalo Sabres.  You want to get your hands on Chris Stewart and someone from the Buffalo Sabres prospect pool?  Then your going to take Cody Hodgson with it.  That’s not overpaying, that is buying out Cody Hodgson without having to take the hit on your salary cap (which it really isn’t that big of a hit to be perfectly honest).

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Hodgson shouldn’t be considered anything more than a prospect in a trade anyways.  He is largely unproven at the NHL level.  He had a twenty goal season last year, but is on pace for the worst offensive output of his career, save for his rookie season in Vancouver where he only appeared for 8 games.

It isn’t that the Buffalo Sabres should give up on Cody Hodgson, but if you look at the depth at the center position, Cody Hodgson will soon be replaced by the likes of Sam Reinhart and either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.  That sums up the first and second lines for the center position.  You also have Zemgus Girgensons and Mikhail Grigorenko at the center position.   Girgensons has proven himself to be valuable to the organization, and Grigorenko after some time in the AHL would be a better option at center than Hodgson.

Chris Stewart Deal Not Only Option To Move Cody Hodgson

Just two seasons removed from being uber thin at the Center position, the Buffalo Sabres now have options at the center position, making trading Cody Hodgson easier to do.  It also enhances any return the Buffalo Sabres might get for Chris Stewart, and could mean the difference between a second round pick and another first round pick in either this year or next years draft.

If Hodgson is a better “prospect” that is NHL ready that teams are interested in – he might also be used to sweeten the deal on a player that is less likely to gain attention from other teams in the league.  Goalie Michal Neuvirth is on an expiring contract as well, and I don’t see him with a strong future in the Buffalo Sabres organization.

His numbers this season have been horrible, much worse than Jhonas Enroth who is likely the reason the Sabres won as many games as they did.  Unloading him might not be as easy as Chris Stewart, so getting Hodgson might make the blow easier for a team that might be looking at Neuvirth.

Cody Hodgson is expendable, and the trade options are there.

Next: If Not Traded - Cody Hodgson Buyout Still An Option