Sabres land C Hodgson in completing 2 trades



BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Without discounting the Buffalo Sabres playoff hopes this season, general manager Darcy Regier addressed the team’s future by completing two deals before the NHL’s trade deadline on Monday.

First, he dealt veteran center Paul Gaustad to Nashville for a first-round draft pick. Regier then landed a center in rookie Cody Hodgson from Vancouver in filling what he regards the team’s biggest need.

The Sabres also acquired defenseman Alexander Sulzer from the Canucks. In exchange, Buffalo traded rookie power forward Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver.

Regier was willing to make the deals even if it meant taking a “minor step back.”

Preparing to play their next four on the road, the Sabres (27-27-8) are tied for 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points out of a playoff spot.