A report broke yesterday that the Sabres were considering a buyout on forward Cody Hodgson [Kukla’s Korner], [Yahoo]. The 25-year old has four years left on his current deal with an annual price tag of $4.25 million.
The news prompted me to remember the controversial trade that brought Hodgson to Buffalo back in 2012. Hodgson was pegged to be a top-line center in the NHL, with a strong skill set, and a good track record in junior. But his foot speed was an issue, as was his conditioning, and it appears as though that hasn’t changed. His stint with the Canucks was forgettable, he faced injury and unrest, and suited up for just 71 regular season games, amassing 17 goals and 35 points. But still, sending him away so early in his career for grinder Zack Kassian seemed curious. But it looks as though the Canucks knew what they were doing.
I watched Hodgson play for Brampton in Junior, and had high hopes for him. And while some hated the trade on Vancouvers end, I wasn’t sure how to take it. The interesting thing now is that I wouldn’t necessarily call it a win for either team. Hodgson scored 20 goals in the 2103-14 season, but had dreadful season last year, putting up just six goals in 78 games. Granted, he played on a terrible team, but if the Sabres are contemplating giving up on you, that’s not a great sign. I have to believe at his age he’s going to find another home.
As for Kassian, well the Canucks obtained him for his grit, not his offence. While he does provide some sandpaper, I don’t think anyone can say with certainty that he’s extremely effective for them. But, when you look at what’s happening with Hodgson, you can’t really feel too bad about the trade if you’re on the Canucks side. Kassian is younger, at 24, and he can still become more of a physical presence. He’s dealing with back issues, which is a concern. I venture to say the trade was kind of a wash in general, though considering how much money Hodgson makes, I’ll give the edge to Vancouver.
In other news…
Pittsburgh will be moving on from a couple of veteran defencemen. [The Score]
Barret Jackman won’t be back with the Blues next season. [Puck Daddy]
Scoring chances have been up in this years final. [Globe and Mail]
Find out where Ondrej Palat gets his inspiration. [Sportsnet]
Is there such thing as being clutch? [Leafs Nation]
There are passionate hockey fans in Arizona. [Deadspin]
The Coyotes won’t go down without a fight. [ESPN]
Does Marian Hossa belong in the Hall of Fame? [Grantland]
Mike Modano speaks about playoff beards. [Today’s Slap Shot]
What does recent history tell us about the 15th overall pick? [Flames Nation]
Does Carl Soderberg want to play in Edmonton? [Copper N Blue]
How the Oilers contributed to a Stanley Cup contender. [Edmonton Journal]
An interview with Avalanche winger Cody McLeod. [CBS Local]
And finally, Ken Holland says that Jimmy Howard won’t be traded. So expect him to eventually be traded. [The Score]