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Sabres, Hodgson sidestep the bridge contract, sign six-year extension

No strangers to employing unique approaches in announcing their business (Steve Ott's third-jersey reveal, the novelty of which was overshadowed by the ugliness of the sweater comes to mind), the Buffalo Sabres signed Cody Hodgson to a six-year contract extension Wednesday, then took to Vine for Hodgson to make the announcement:

The term, which wasn't included in the video because they only had six seconds, trickled out later: $25.5 million over the next six years. It's a cap hit of $4.25 million per season.

We await a Vine from Derek Stepan of the Rangers' RFA rubbing his hands together in delight. Either that or one from Nazem Kadri, smacking his forehead over and over as he realizes he should have heeded the advice of Wilson Phillips and held out for one more day.

Kadri, you see, took the bridge contract -- the short-term, "prove it" deal between contract 1 and contract 3 that's been all the rage this summer. Hodgson, however, did not.

Good for Hodgson, though one wonders if the Sabres shouldn't have been more insistent on it. After all, while Hodgson gave them 34 points in 48 games in his first full season in Buffalo, the lockout-shortened year isn't really much of a full season. Furthermore, while he produced quite a bit, his defensive struggles were so pronounced that Ron Rolston dropped him to the fourth line late in the season, much like Alain Vigneault often did with Hodgson in Vancouver.

That's a lot of money to commit to a guy that still hasn't proven he can play in both ends. A shorter-term contract would have given the Sabres more time to observe the player -- like, say, 80 games, at least. Instead, they gave Hodgson big-time term, and now they're just going to have to hope that was wise.

If it wasn't, the Sabres are going to hate that they just created a video of Hodgson announcing his six-year extension on a never-ending loop.

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