The Buffalo Sabres have signed restricted free-agent forward Cody Hodgson to a six-year contract extension, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. Hodgson will earn $25.5 million over the span of the agreement, which will amount to an annual average value of $4.25 million against the salary cap.
Buffalo has actively tried to engage its fan base via social media this offseason and continued that trend with the announcement of Hodgson's extension, as the club used the micro-video application Vine to publicly present the deal:
(This might have been the fastest contract announcement in league history.)
The 23-year-old forward concluded the final year of his entry-level contract in 2013 and accumulated 34 points (15 goals and 19 assists) in 48 games last season. Originally selected with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, Hodgson was acquired by Buffalo in February of 2012 in exchange for forward Zack Kassian.
Buffalo is believed to be entering a rebuilding phase, as the team's management has expressed a desire to build and develop through the draft. This potentially could result in players like Ryan Miller and/or Thomas Vanek leaving the organization at some point between now and next summer. That means the Sabres are looking to Hodgson as a primary building block for the forward group moving into the future.