Hodgson appreciates coming home to Haliburton following NHL season 0
Buffalo Sabres centre Cody Hodgson, right, took time to play some ball hockey with boys participating in the Kids4Kids Ball Hockey Tournament at the Todd's Independant in Haliburton on Saturday, June 9. Hodgson gave out autographed photos of himself, signed assorted items for fans and posed for photos. DARREN LUM/HALIBURTON ECHO/QMI AGENCY
After a year of ups and downs, Buffalo Sabres centre Cody Hodgson is finding time to relax after coming home to visit family in Haliburton.
Hodgson, who met with fans, signed autographs and gave out photos at the third annual Kids4Kids Ball Hockey Tournament at Todd's Independent grocery store on Saturday, June 9, spoke about his future in light of a mid-season trade from Vancouver to Buffalo.
"I'm in a good situation now in Buffalo. It seems like good people so I'm happy to be there . being around a good organization that cares about you and cares about you as a person," he said.
"I've talked to assistant coaches in the off-season. I've gone to Buffalo once [already] and talked to trainers . it just seemed they cared about you as a person."
There's little regret for the young NHLer.
He is excited to be part of a young and dynamic team that came up just shy of earning a berth to the playoffs.
Hodgson said there are pros and cons to both cities, much of it related to the time difference and to family and friends.
"I enjoyed it in Vancouver. I enjoyed playing there. They have great fans," he said.
In Buffalo, he said, there is a passion for hockey too.
Although Hodgson will miss friends he made in Vancouver, he is glad to be closer to his best friend, who attends school in the same state.
For his No. 1 fan it's a definite advantage; playing on the east coast enables his grandmother to see his games in their entirety.
She used to take afternoon naps due to the three-hour time difference.
While there's a ball hockey court at his family's Haliburton cottage, Hodgson mainly uses his time up here to get away from everything, reading in the hammock and getting out on the water in a boat.
His family cottage lies just outside the mobile phone coverage area and he wouldn't have it any other way.
"I try to get up [here] as much as possible. My family is up here. Both sides [of my family's] grandmothers are here in the summer. My grandpa lives in Carnarvon," he said. "It's a good feeling to come back to a familiar place. To know everybody supports and cares about you it's a good feeling to be back in town. Haliburton has given me a lot of support over the years. I really appreciate that. I love being up here."
Hodgson smiles when asked about being the guest of the ball hockey tournament.
"I love ball hockey. It's one of my favourite things to do. I grew up playing ball hockey," he said. Hodgson and Colorado Avalanche centre, Matt Duchene, constantly played ball hockey together in Haliburton.
Hodgson is honoured that his likeness will be added to the side of the Dysart Arena, joining Duchene alongside retired NHL players Bernie Nicholls and Ron Stackhouse.
As far as the controversy about his move from the Canucks to the Sabres and unfavourable comments made by former general manager Mike Gillis, Hodgson's looking to a new future and a full season with Buffalo.
"I've moved on. Hopefully everyone else can too," he said.