Jiri Hudler Was A Healthy Scratch Last Night

Last night, the Calgary Flames began a crucial three-game road trip with a game at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Well, most of them did, as veteran winger Jiri Hudler didn’t play. The reasons for his absence from the lineup are a bit murky, but through the haze of what the Flames hockey operations group has said publicly, one thing seems pretty apparent: Jiri Hudler was a healthy scratch last night.

Here’s why we think so.

THE EXPLANATION

Sure, Bob.

A BRIEF TIMELINE

From the various tweets from the fine members of local media who’ve been at all of the recent practices, here’s a timeline that we’ve been able to cull together of Jiri Hudler’s week.

On Thursday, Hudler was absent from practice.

On Friday, Hudler missed the game-day skate and then missed the game entirely due to the flu.

On Saturday, Hudler missed practice again with the flu.

Everyone was off on Sunday. Hudler was back on the ice on Monday for practice, though he didn’t take line rushes with the regulars.

WAIT, WHAT?

Hudler was sick Friday and Saturday and had Sunday off. He was well enough for full practice on Monday and to travel with the team. Unless he got sick again all of a sudden, the illness timeline doesn’t match up.

WE CALL SHENANIGANS

Hudler hasn’t played well of late. Here’s his last 10 games.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 8.02.34 PM

Yikes.

Hudler being legitimately sick on Friday gave the Flames an opportunity to glimpse how they looked without #24 dragging down Gaudreau and Monahan. They looked good and beat Chicago. It was the team’s most complete game of the season.

Parking Hudler upstairs for a second game, when he’s presumably back to good health, is a perfect chance for Bob Hartley to send a message to his slumping veteran without openly criticizing Hudler’s play. It makes complete sense.

Unfortunately, it’s a logical enough move as to become completely transparent.

IN SUMMARY

Unless Hudler’s illness made a miraculous last-minute comeback, he was a healthy scratch last night.

  • ClayBort

    I fully expect him to dress every game for the rest of the season…. he’ll score at the same rate probably, but we’ll look at individual good games and praise Hartley for sending a message because reasons.

  • Lordmork

    Someone noted recently (though I can’t remember who) that Hudler hasn’t looked the same since that Regehr cross-check. Anyone care to speculate wildly about some sort of injury that he might not have fully recovered from, or aggravated?

  • SickFloBro

    I don’t know that he wasn’t a healthy scratch … but from my experience having the flu, you can feel the effects for days or weeks after you’re “better”.

    It might just be a case that Hudler was well enough to practice, but the coach didn’t want to put him into a game, fearing that the extended time playing at a high level would just result in exhaustion and mistakes.

    Games are more intense than practice, after all.

  • everton fc

    Jooris out “for personal reasons”? Any news on this??

    Perhaps they move Hudler and Gio to the Isles for Hamonic and Strome? Of course, that would mean Bennett stays on LW. One can dream…

    We have no one to replace Hudler on RW. Simple as that. Our depth is puddle deep. Up and down the organization, on the right side (unless they think Joe Colborne or Freddie H are ready?!)

    • ngthagg

      Raymond hasn’t looked too bad on right wing. Ferland has also.

      I don’t think Gio would be moved; if anything it would be a three way deal:

      Something like:

      Hudler+ going to Ducks, Vatenan to Isles, and Hamonic to Flames.

  • RKD

    Good, he’s been fairly invisible for most of this season. If he wants a whopping new contract, then he should be playing his ass off each and every shift. Right now his play is also diminishing his trade value each passing game. It’s about time, should have been done sooner. Last season, Wideman got scratched and was a totally different player after that. Even Wides should have been scratched for a game by now.

  • Parallex

    Well, I don’t think it was a “healthy scratch” in the sense that he’s being sat for poor performance… they’ve never coded that as illness in the past.

    I’d put it down as one of to things…

    A: There’s a trade a brewin’ and they need him uninjured

    B: It is a personal issue and out of respect for his privacy they’re (unsuccessfully?) trying to keep media from prying into it so they’re calling it an illness.

  • ngthagg

    It’s a shame we didn’t trade him this summer. Coming off his record year, with a league award in hand, his value was unquestionably at a peak. The fact that his performance has dropped so dramatically only makes it worse.

    Buy low, sell high needs to be our guiding principle if we want long term success.

    • Derzie

      Yes but like the stock market, we only know what is high or low after it already happens. Who saw this version of Gio happening (other than haters).80% of the team is underwhelming this year. The regression guys preached less luck which has happened but no one predicted them to be this terrible (again, except haters).

  • hulkingloooooob

    What a surprise. A guy who was head and shoulders better last year than the previous 10 years of his career suddenly goes back to the guy he was for the first 10 years.

    The only surprising thing is people who are surprised and calling it ‘underperforming’. The fact is, this year is what Hudler was, is and always will be. Last year was an aberration.

    Unfortunately for him he couldn’t have had his aberration this year as he heads into the UFA market.

    • OKG

      That’s what I was thinking as well, I think it was Dreger who said he thought a deal might happen this week, so the timing is a interesting.

      Also, Hamonic seems too good of an opportunity for BT to pass up. We don’t really have a D with his skill set (fast, hard-hitting).

      I don’t believe for a second that it’s the flu, but if it’s not a trade, then it would be odd to seem him get sent “a message” when he just came back from the Flu?

      And a flu usually is usually just a two day thing… something’s a brewing.