Calgary Flames General Manager Jay Feester has signed forward Jiri Hudler (formerly of the Detroit Red Wings) to a 4 year $16M contract. Hudler can be a handy little offensive player at times, but his defensive play is weak at best. If he were a restricted free agent and this were an offer sheet, there is little chance that Detroit would match, choosing instead to let the diminutive Czeck walk. It is unclear how much Ken Holland offered him, if he even made an offer at all. Jiri scored 25 goals, 50 PTS last season and will contribute to Calgary's offense, but he does not make the team better. Is $4M too much to pay for a one way specialist? Well I'm a Red Wings fan and I've been saying for several months that I'm prepared to say goodbye to Jiri Hudler. I'm not the least bit sad to see him go.
Hudler did win a Stanley Cup with Detroit scoring 14 PTS in the 2008 playoffs (tied for 5th on the team) as the 2nd youngest player on the roster (two months older than Filppula), and he must be thanked by Red Wings fans for his service to the organization. Thank you Jiri, now don't let the door hit you on the way out. Many of us remember the year he took off to play in the KHL with Moscow Dynamo in 2010, and he did not return from that hiatus as a better player. His career high of 57 PTS was scored the season before he left; scoring 37 PTS in 73 GP in 2011 after his return. He was better before he left.