For God's sake, Darcy, just pay this guy! The Sabres have $10.5 million in cap space this season, and the cap will be increasing in the coming years; not to mention the owner is a billionaire, so it's not like the team is cash-strapped by any means.
I have no idea how much Hodgson and Rich Winter are seeking, but I highly doubt it would be in excess of $5 million per season.
My suggestion would be to offer Cody a 6-year deal worth anywhere from $24M to $27M.
At the most, you're looking at a $4.5M cap hit over the next 6 years for a player who is supposed to be your # 1 center.
If Regier is looking for a bridge deal, say $5.5M - $6.5M over 2 years, then you'll end up paying Hodgson $3.25M per season over the next 2 seasons (at the most), BUT, more than likely you'll have to pay him $5.5M to $6.5M per year on his following contract.
Certainly Hodgson has his defensive deficiencies, but he is offensively gifted. A player can be taught how to play defense, but you cannot teach this!
If Regier gets his way and Hodgson signs the 'bridge' deal, it is quite probable that Cody will outplay that contract and be in line for a big pay-raise 2 years from now.
Do you think it's unreasonable for Hodgson to score 22 goals and 60 points this upcoming season?
Do you think it's unreasonable for Hodgson to score 28 goals and 65 points the following season?
I certainly think these are very realistic numbers for our # 1 center. Imagine what kind of contract he would be seeking if he scores 125 points over the next 2 years!
It would be wise to lock this kid up for 6 or 7 years at a relatively reasonable cap hit of $4M - $4.5M per season... rather than get a bargain for 2 years ($3M AAV), and then have to pay $6.5M AAV for the next 4 - 5 years afterwards.
For comparables, Jeff Skinner signed a 6 year extension @ the age of 20 with an AAV of $5.725M after scoring 51G & 107 Pts in 146 GP;
Tyler Seguin signed a 6 year extension @ the age of 20 with an AAV of $5.75M after scoring 40G & 89 Pts in 155 GP;
So far, Hodgson has 35G & 77 Pts in 139 career games and he’s 23 years old. Me thinks a $4.5M AAV for Hodgson on a long term deal would be a wise signing for Buffalo.