Hudler hasn't scored a goal in 10 games. If he's not producing points, he's virtually useless, and contributes nothing when he doesn't score. If he is scoring, then he's fine, but otherwise, I see no reason for him to be in the lineup.
...and also, he may have more points than Filppula, but is nowhere near the all around player that Filppula is. Filppula is a better player, and can play a defensive role, as well as an offensive role. Hudler can only do one, and lately, he hasn't been doing what he's supposed to.
To be honest, I've never been a big Hudler fan. I know plenty of small guys in the NHL have gone on to have great careers (Marty St. Louis, Brian Gionta, Valeri Bure, Cliff Ronning, etc.), but for some reason, Hudler doesn't impress me. The only time I really see anything from him is in the shootout, which he is good in. But, the shootout isn't important enough to keep a guy around solely for that purpose. This season, scoring wise, he's been inconsistant at best. Maybe with more ice, he'd be scoring more, but it's hard to tell.
Overall, Hudler is not considered an "untouchable player" because you can find plenty of guys like him, whether it be in the draft, free agency, straight out of Europe (one of those three Swedish prospects, I think his last name was Klassen, has similar statistics and playing style over in Europe), or a variety of other places. If teams want Hudler, there is no reason why the Wings shouldn't give him up, if they can something decent for him. He's one of the players the Wings really can move.
Oh, and by the way... I hate Samuelsson, so you don't have to use him in an arguement to support Hudler, or any other player for that matter.
Young players are bound to be inconsistent. Filppula has no points in his last 5 games, and is a -2. He also scored 9 goals in a 10-game span (November-December?).
He is a better forechecker, I will give him that... and always gives a lot of effort.
EDIT: Hudler is getting 12-15 minutes, except for last game. Filppula is also getting 12-15 minutes. Samuelsson is getting 13-16. So there.
Edited by Earthhuman, 09 February 2008 - 04:02 AM.