Apr 3, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson (19) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at the Scottrade Center. The Blues defeated the Sabres 2-1 and set a franchise record for wins in a season with 52. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Will Sabres, Ennis Pact Shuffle Cody Hodgson Out Of Buffalo?

Per the NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes, the Buffalo Sabres have re-signed Tyler Ennis to a 5-year contract that will net the speedy center a cool $23 Million. Considering what Ennis has shown during his NHL tenure, that seems like a fair deal for both player and team. However the move can’t help but raise speculation on the future of Ennis’s teammate Cody Hodgson in Buffalo.

Aside from their height, (Hodgson’s 3 inches taller) they’re very similar players. The two former 1st round draft picks are four months apart in age, and are both signed with the Sabres for at least five more years apiece.

Ennis is faster and has 45 more points than Hodgson but, to be fair, he’s also played in 56 more games. Hodgson led the Sabres in total points last season, finishing with one more than than…Tyler Ennis.

Also, it’s a good bet that Mars will be colonized long before either Ennis or Hodgson win a Selke trophy. But defense isn’t really their game and the Sabres know it.

So what Buffalo now has is essentially two players who are, in many though not all, respects, mirror images of each other. They also have a bevy of highly-touted young center/forward prospects in the system, and that’s not counting the three (3) 1st round picks they own in the 2015 NHL Draft. (Theirs, the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues.)

It’s not easy to see where they have the roster space to keep both of them in the blue and gold.

However,  since Hodgson’s long-term deal was signed with the deposed management team while Ennis signed his with the current one, it is easy to see which one Sabres’ GM Tim Murray likely intends to keep.

Buffalo has never been far from the Evander Kane trade rumors, so perhaps Winnipeg offers Murray his best solution. While it’s been speculated that such a deal would include rear guard Tyler Myers, there’s nothing that states transactions can’t be tweaked. The Sabres have several promising defensemen in their system as well. Maybe they’d package one of them.

And if not the Jets, then surely there are several other teams that would be thrilled to acquire a young Top 6 forward who’s already signed for several years at a reasonable salary cap number.

I’m no psychic, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Hodgson’s calling some other NHL city home long before his current contract with Buffalo expires.

That may very well be the best thing for both Hodgson and the Sabres. And with the new Ennis contract now done, all signs seem to be pointing in that direction.

As always, time will tell.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Cody Hodgson Tyler Ennis

  • Mike Flynn

    If coho can play wing effectively this season he won’t be going anywhere and I think he’d be on a line with ennis

  • terenceduran

    Seriously?! Hodgson on the trading block?! What team is inquiring about his availability? Perfect example of muck raking trying to pass for journalism. Any sport writer should realize that Ennis is not a center, he is too small and only wins 38% of his face offs. Move Ennis to LW, and the lines would be:
    Mouslon – ??????? – Stafford
    Ennis – Hodgson – Stewart
    Foligno – Girgensons – Gionta
    Deslauriers – McCormick – Flynn

    Each line has a sniper, playmaker and crasher (the 4th line is just a checking/crash line).

    It looks to me or anyone who follows hockey that the Sabres could still use another center not trade one away. Until Reinhart is ready (I hope I do not see him in a Sabre uniform until next year) that line up makes the most sense.

  • davidmuscalo

    There is no way I would trade Hogdson, he has great potential and with Ted Nolan coaching him, he should continue to develop. On the other hand, I don’t think Ennis will get any better. Yes, he does compete, unfortunately, due to is diminutive size, he loses most contests to larger players in corners and in front of the net.

    • terenceduran

      You are correct Cody Hodgson has a higher up side than Ennis. Second bigger players have longer careers than smaller players. Finally, Nolan has stated more than once that he is a motivator and not a coach, which why Murray picked up Gionta and Gorges.