Flames Sign Jiri Hudler

Kent Wilson
July 02 2012 02:07PM

 

 

The Flames announced this afternoon that they have signed ex-Red Wing Jiri Hudler to a 4-year deal worth a total of $16 million ($4M cap hit). Hudler is 28 years old and coming off a season where he scored 25 goals and 50 points for Detroit.

The term and dollar figure isn't outrageous for a player who can put up a decent amount of points. That said, Hudler is strictly a middle rotation, soft minutes forward. He's never faced the tough sledding in Detroit and he's never put up decent possession numbers. His career high in the NHL is 57 points.

Hudler is small, but slick with the puck. He brings creativity that is generally lacking in the Flames line-up. He's also fills a big hole on the right side behind Jarome Iginla, particularly with David Moss leaving. That's the good news.

On the other hand, he's another guy on a long list of players who needs favorable circumstances to succeed. Iginla, Tanguay, Cammalleri and now Hudler are all guys that, ideally, a coach would like to play against second or third liners and start more often in the offensive zone. Add in Cervenka (unkown) and Baertschi (a rookie) and you have a very real need for the team to cobble together a capable shut down line if they want to compete with the other play-off teams in the West.

The addition also gives the Flames 12 forwards up front + Sven, including the yet to be re-signed Mikael Backlund, but not kids Lance Bouma and Roman Horak. That's a lot of NHLers, so someone might still be on the block.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#101 T&A4Flames
July 03 2012, 11:07AM
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@ BurningSensation

I completely agree eith all your points. I particularly enjoy the part about aquiring assets to improve the AHL team. Our draftess will progress in a winning atmospere as apposed to a losing one.

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#102 Colin
July 03 2012, 10:42PM
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I agree to a point on acquiring players for the AHL team. You want to Augment your AHL team with some older more realiable veterans, but at the same time, you don't want to fill your top 2 lines and top two D pairings with career AHL and leave your real prospects down the depth chart, even if they are winning all the time, they do need minutes to develop.

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#103 RexLibris
July 04 2012, 07:48AM
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@BurningSensation

I disagree with your first statement in that teams that embrace the strategy of finishing low and drafting high are necessarily poorly run. Some are, but some teams that continually try to climb over the hurdle to elite status are just as improperly managed.

It can take an element of objectivity and, to some extent courage, to admit mediocrity and take the hard road to improve.

I do agree with you in that Feaster has made some good moves in taking the team into the analytics fold and seemingly expanding the scouting departments.

For as many bad contracts that Feaster has moved out, I'm of the opinion that he has replaced with some of his own. The Sarich, Wideman, and Babchuk contracts either have been or likely will become, millstones equal to anything that Regehr's contract posed.

He has, thus far, not gone as far down the road of contractual lunacy that Darryl Sutter did in his Stajan and Kotalik contracts. Not certain if that is praise or not.

I also agree in that Feaster has located and acquired some good youthful support players, though none that can help to rejuvenate the core of the team.

Could you identify for me more than one good organization that never has gone the route of continual losing in order to draft key players?

Were I a Flames fan my biggest concern about Feaster's moves would be that, while he has done a good job in proactively pursuing the second-tier of free agents and bypassing the insanity of signing Suter and Parise, in the end this does not address the fundamental problem with the team: the need to add elite players to and aging core.

Why do you suppose that the Oilers will be unable to retain their youthful core when nearly every other team that has gone the same route has?

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