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Red Wings GM Ken Holland hasn't given up on wandering Jiri Hudler

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http://www.freep.com/article/20100316/SPORTS05/3160367/1053/Sports/Holland-hasnt-given-up-on-wandering-Hudler-Red-Wings-Hockey

CALGARY, Alberta -- Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is committed to wooing forward Jiri Hudler back to Detroit, and a disappointing end to Hudler's first season in Russia may have helped.

Hudler, 26, left last summer despite an arbitration hearing that bound him to a two-year, $5.75-million deal with the Wings after being offered a much fatter contract by Moscow Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League. The two-year Moscow deal is believed to be worth anywhere from $3 million to $5 million annually, tax-exempt. Hudler had a good regular season with Dynamo, producing 35 assists among 54 points in 54 games, but he had just one assist and was a minus-4 during Dynamo's first-round exit from the Gagarin Cup playoffs.

Though Hudler cannot return this season, Holland said, he believes Hudler could do so for next season.

"His agent tells me he has a two-year contract, but it includes an option to get out after the first year," Holland said Monday. "I asked Jiri about it a month ago, and he said he doesn't know if he has that out clause or not. Now, I don't know if he was playing possum or what, but I've expressed to him we'd like to have him back, and Mike Babcock has been in communication with Jiri. We've both told him we'd like him back."

Had Dynamo won its first round, Holland was going to go to Moscow next week to catch up with his former player. Holland has been in contact with Hudler most of the season, talking to him on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, and after Hudler was left off the Czech Olympic team.

"I've texted or talked with him on and off," Holland said. "My plan was to go over to Russia next week, catch a game, take Jiri out to supper, try to court him a little bit. Now that they've been eliminated, I don't know what Jiri's plans are. I texted him and told him to take a week to 10 days to sort things out. Once he knows what he's doing, I can decide what I'm doing.

"I know Jiri has told me he has special friends in the Red Wings' locker room, that he thought it was special to play for the Wings. But as special as it was, he still went to the KHL."

Holland might not know Hudler's decision for one to three months, but the only significant deadline is July 1, the start of free agency. Hudler would have to honor the deal -- from scratch -- he already has with the Wings, but Holland needs to know whether that money will be committed to Hudler or can be used to woo other players.

The Wings' belief that they would have Hudler on the team this season is part of the reason they didn't throw more money at Mikael Samuelsson, who ended up going to Vancouver, where he just reached a career-high 30 goals. Hudler had 23 goals and 34 assists in 82 games last season.

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Pretty interesting. Any thoughts?

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I think having his 57 points would have been pretty nice this year, although I'm guessing he would not have that many this year (if he managed to remain healthy).

Hoping he comes back to the Wings and is a better player than before.

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I don't miss him personally, but his points would have been nice this year.

For what Huds is locked up on, I'd rather see that money spent on a Free Agent that actually wants to play for the Detroit Red Wings.

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I don't miss him personally, but his points would have been nice this year.

For what Huds is locked up on, I'd rather see that money spent on a Free Agent that actually wants to play for the Detroit Red Wings.

From what I understood, Huds knew he was going to win more in arbitration than the Wings could afford. He didn't want to play for another team in the NHL so he went to the KHL so that the Wings would still have his rights and he could return after this season when everyone knew we would have more cap room. So really, he wanted to play so badly for the Wings that he went to the KHL so that he wouldn't have to go to another NHL team. This could be wrong, but this is what I understood the situation to be. Also, he may decide now he wants to stay over there because the hookers, I mean money is so good.

55fan likes this

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From what I understood, Huds knew he was going to win more in arbitration than the Wings could afford. He didn't want to play for another team in the NHL so he went to the KHL so that the Wings would still have his rights and he could return after this season when everyone knew we would have more cap room. So really, he wanted to play so badly for the Wings that he went to the KHL so that he wouldn't have to go to another NHL team. This could be wrong, but this is what I understood the situation to be. Also, he may decide now he wants to stay over there because the hookers, I mean money is so good.

Makes sense. I was going to say otherwise. How could the Detroit Red Wings beg you to come to the team and you not come?

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Would not mind having him back, assuming if he comes back the contract he has with the Wings was similar before he left in Russia. Was typically solid in his role as a PP specialist and chipping in points every now and then on even strength.

wingnut22 likes this

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Seriously Jiri, please come back, please.

57 points last season while playing 13/14 minutes per night and on the 3rd line? Ridiculously good production for such little time. He's an outstanding asset on the PP and given more ice-time there's no reason why he couldn't crack 30 goals and 70 points. I love the little guy.

Hudler - Filppula - Eaves. Yes please.

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Since Jiri's making $5 large shouldn't he be buying dinner?

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't there anything better out there via UFA this July 1st?...Granted that player would most likely cost more in salary than Hudler, but still - an upgrade is an upgrade - right?

By any chance has Hudler gotten faster while playing in the KHL? That'd be super.

I dunno...If he had - do ya think the Czech Olympic team might've added him to their roster?

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Hudler is great, he is clutch (at least in a winged wheel he has been lol) and for god sakes put him on line 1 or 2 like sammy and Jiri will net at least 30!

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I dunno...If he had - do ya think the Czech Olympic team might've added him to their roster?

actually i thought i read Hudler played in some tournament right before the olympics, i guess that caused the Czech team to not add him. conflict of interests i guess?

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I think having his 57 points would have been pretty nice this year, although I'm guessing he would not have that many this year (if he managed to remain healthy).

Hoping he comes back to the Wings and is a better player than before.

He would have gotten top 6 minutes for sure rather than 13:30... you realise if you gave him Filppula's minutes with his scoring rate from last year and he'd be prorated for well over 70 points this year right? You do realise that last year he had a better scoring pace than Franzen, Zetterberg, and Filppula right? Don't try to argue, I have the stats prorated for ES, PP, and Pk time, and if Hudler switched any of their minutes he would outpreform them substancially (well Franzen by 2 points, but Z and Fil by 10+ points)

Seriously Jiri, please come back, please.

57 points last season while playing 13/14 minutes per night and on the 3rd line? Ridiculously good production for such little time. He's an outstanding asset on the PP and given more ice-time there's no reason why he couldn't crack 30 goals and 70 points. I love the little guy.

Hudler - Filppula - Eaves. Yes please.

Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom

Zetterberg-Filppula-Hudler

Bertuzzi-Cleary-Williams

HDE

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From what I understood, Huds knew he was going to win more in arbitration than the Wings could afford. He didn't want to play for another team in the NHL so he went to the KHL so that the Wings would still have his rights and he could return after this season when everyone knew we would have more cap room. So really, he wanted to play so badly for the Wings that he went to the KHL so that he wouldn't have to go to another NHL team. This could be wrong, but this is what I understood the situation to be. Also, he may decide now he wants to stay over there because the hookers, I mean money is so good.

Maybe I'm missing something, but if Hudler wanted to play for the Wings so badly but knew money was an issue why not skip arbitration, sign a 1-year deal for less, then get the big contract after this season? I'm not faulting him for taking the money, but I have a hard time seeing how Hudler going to the KHL was doing the Wings a favor.

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I am torn.

I liked Jiri while he was here...most certainly his points were missed this year, as well as his happy little face with the goofy smile, enthusiasm, fetchin bobby Langs' newspaper.....yeah, I liked him.

But the little s***-bird flew off to Russia when we really needed him. Screwed us out of Sammys' biggest year.

Part of me wants him back, and part of me says f*ck him.

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you realise if you gave him Filppula's minutes with his scoring rate from last year and he'd be prorated for well over 70 points this year right? You do realise that last year he had a better scoring pace than Franzen, Zetterberg, and Filppula right? Don't try to argue, I have the stats prorated for ES, PP, and Pk time, and if Hudler switched any of their minutes he would outpreform them substancially (well Franzen by 2 points, but Z and Fil by 10+ points)

Last year Hudler and Filppula had the exact same "points per minute" at even strength. (ie if you gave Hudler Filppula's ES minutes last year, he would have scored a whopping .1 point more than Filppula). I think Filppula would have a higher points per minute at even strength if Filppula didn't play in all situations.

I'm sick of the "hudler did so well with so little minutes" gig. If you gave Filppula Hudler's PP time last year, Filppula scores over 50 points and Hudler doesn't even break 40. All his points came from the massive amount of PP time he got. Only Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Holmstrom got more.

I'll even go further. Last year, Hudler had .113 PPM on the PP. This year Filppula has .083. BUT, compare the linemates they had on the PP.

http://www.dobberhockey.com/frozenpool_linecombo.php?selForward=DETFILPPULA%2CVALTTERI&period=ALL&situation=PP&games=2009-2010%3AR%3A99&Submit=Show+Line+Combinations&sent=go

http://www.dobberhockey.com/frozenpool_linecombo.php?selForward=DETHUDLER%2CJIRI&period=ALL&situation=PP&games=2008-2009%3AR%3A99&Submit=Show+Line+Combinations&sent=go

It's black and white.

Edited by Z and D for the C
Frozen-Man likes this

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Hudler would be awesome on that 2nd pp unit with zetterberg etc

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Can anyone tie a name to the "we can get a better UFA at Hudler's price"? For the life of me, I can't think of one.

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Hudler was terrible on the second line last year and terrible in general when given more ice team with a loaded Red Wing's roster so that more TOI argument is so bunk.

Would I like him back? Yes. Do we need another soft Euro? No. Would we accept a soft Euro who can score? Yes. Does Hudler have the greatest slogan of all-time? Yes.

Lets go Ved Vings!!!!!!!!

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I have always like Huds even though he can not play D and skates like he has an anchor dragging behind, he always found the a way to score I am all for it get er done :clap:

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If this is really true that he took one for the team, not only would I welcome him back, but I'd be waiting at the airport with roses.

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Can anyone tie a name to the "we can get a better UFA at Hudler's price"? For the life of me, I can't think of one.

At Hudler's price?...Nobody available...For a few million more?...Possibly Frolov, but doubtful Holland would offer him a contract.

EDIT - Nix that idea of Frolov; just found out that he currently makes $4 million...I'm sure he's thinking $5 million plus which pretty much keeps us outta the running for his services.

Edited by F.Michael

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