Flames Sign Jiri Hudler



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.

  • RKD

    Well that’s the top 6 guy feaster was talking about. I think its a good signing, better than having a 40 year old jagr. Offensive creativity is needed on this team badly. I would of liked doan better but he will stay in phoenix I’m sure.

    I would say other than a possible trade this will be the team going forward. I think it is improved from last year for sure. With some buy in to hartley this team could be in the 5 to 8 range in the western conferance. Kind of like phoenix.

  • Cowtown 1989

    I like this signing. It could be an indication that Jagr didn’t like the way things were shaping up here or didn’t want to play in the west(perhaps due to travel). That said, the numbers are comparable and we get a player that is substantially younger. If Hartley wants a more open and creative style of play, this is the type of player we need. I’m hoping that the lack of a Backlund signing foreshadows a package deal with JBo.

  • loudogYYC

    I like this signing, he’s a skill player and that’s what the Flames lack. Yeah, soft minutes required. But if Hartley is all-offense as they say he is, you know he’ll protect the skill guys. If the team can keep a strong bottom 6 relatively healthy and effective during the season, the top 6 should do fine.

      • loudogYYC

        A 3rd line of Glencross-Backlund-Stempniak and 4th of Comeau-Jones-Jackman would do, don’t you think?
        Horak and Bouma are your extras and Stajan could tape sticks and sharpen skates for all I care.






        Not the most solid line-up you’ve ever seen, but given the crappy circumstances, the Flames look ready for an 8th spot battle in the West.

        • Maybe?

          That second line could either become an effective support scoring unit or one of the grossest liabilities you’ve ever seen, regardless of circumstances. Depends on what Cervenka is and how Baertschi does in year 1.

          • loudogYYC

            haha true. Good point. It seems there’s gonna be a lot of pressure on Baertschi and Cervenka from day 1.

            And we wonder why the Flames never develop top tier players…

  • loudogYYC

    So, we have a 25 goal scorer, a former 28 goal scorer and a young former 25 goal scorer playing right win behind Iggy. No one has been more negative than me but I have to give it to Feaster on this. After Parise and Suter sign, we will hopefully be able to get some extra value back for J-Bo, etc. If Pitt strikes out, we can ask for Despres, Plus. If the Flyers do, we could package to try and pry Coutierier away from that center deep organization or Scwartz plus from Stl, etc. With how soft things are looking now though, we need to get some size and toughness from outside ( Kassian) or maybe within ( Aliu).

  • RKD

    For everyone concerned about term, the reality is that Calgary is not a preferred destination. I think guys 1)Want a long term deal for stability and 2)The prospect of playing in a Canadian market.

    I think Feaster is kinda forced to offer these long term deals or else guys like Wideman and Hudler are not coming here.

    Sarich knows 2 years is the most he would get, Comeau knows he has to prove himself on a one year.

    Hudler is a improvement over Moss, less injury prone, he may not have the size but he’s got better hands than Mosser.

  • Ken V.

    I think it is a little bit of an over payment, especially for the term. Should have gone for a 2 yr but this may have been the successful bargaining chip. Not a bad signing but I feel this means we are “out” on some of the higher caliber UFA’s.

  • Emir

    I hope we actually hold onto all of our players. Id like to see having some actual depth available in the event of an inevitable injury.

    But if there is a trade to be had, it does seem likely that backlund is apart of it. So lets hope we don’t mess that up.

    as for the signing. Im ok with it. I’ll have an opinion once the season begins and I see performance. I do like the age of 28, step in the right direction.