BUFFALO — Nine days after the Sabres acquired center Cody Hodgson from the Vancouver Canucks in a blockbuster deal at the NHL trade deadline, the 22-year-old rookie finally skated on the First Niagara Center ice Wednesday.
Hodgson had been experiencing a whirlwind acclimation to his new team on the road, and his head hasn’t stopped spinning.
“Has it been that long, really?” Hodgson said Wednesday morning inside the FNC when informed the trade was nine days ago. “I was on the road most of February. I’ve just been trying to get a little bit more settled down. I’ll have a chance hopefully in the next week to settle down and think about things.”
Hodgson wore his blue No. 19 home jersey for the first time Wednesday in the Sabres’ 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
He won’t be able to settle down for a bit, however. The Sabres flew to Boston late Wednesday and start a two-game trip tonight. Hodgson and the Sabres just finished a four-game western swing.
Hodgson’s played 13 of his last 17 games on the road. Even meeting up with the Sabres was difficult last week.
First, Hodgson flew from Phoenix to Buffalo, underwent a physical and then jetted back across the country and played with the Sabres last Wednesday in Anaheim before he had even fully practiced.
Four days after the trade, he returned to Vancouver, where he was dogged with questions about rumors he requested a trade and had an icy relationship with the Canucks.
Has Hodgson even had a couple of hours to himself as a Sabre?
“No. I don’t think so. I can’t remember,” he said. “I’ve … been figuring out stuff, looking after stuff, canceling car insurance, house payments. … It’s fun, though. It’s an exciting time. I’m happy to be here.”