The hockey world was abuzz today with Dion Phaneuf trade news, but a really interesting piece of information came from our friend Wes Gilbertson of Postmedia following the Calgary Flames morning skate.
#Flames RW and pending UFA Jiri Hudler confirmed today he has not had any extension talks. “I like Calgary … So we’ll see how it works out.”
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) February 9, 2016
Hudler is in the fourth and final year of a deal that carries a $4 million cap hit annually. He was eighth in the entire NHL in points last season – potentially a byproduct of a strong season alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau – but sits roughly 140th as of this writing.
Despite this drop-off, Hudler’s recent success makes him one of the most impressive commodities potentially hitting the free agent market on July 1. Basically all of Calgary’s scorers have taken a step back this season, aside from the magical Johnny Gaudreau, so it’s unlikely that depressed stats are throwing much cold water on Hudler’s asset value.
And considering the discussion of Hudler’s placement in the trade market in last week’s 30 Thoughts from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, this latest bit of news may be the closest thing we get to confirmation that the 32-year-old winger is fully on the trade market.
For those of you tracking the team’s pending free agents at home:
- Hudler (UFA): no contract talks (per Gilbertson)
- David Jones (UFA): no contract talks (per us)
- Kris Russell (UFA): team wants to re-sign (per Friedman)
- Sean Monahan & Johnny Gaudreau: preliminary talks (per Bob McKenzie)
There’s no indication as of yet regarding the existence or status of any talks with any of the team’s other pending UFAs (Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller, Jakub Nakladal) or RFAs (Joe Colborne, Josh Jooris, Markus Granlund) or their oodles of minor-league free agents.
Where could Hudler end up and what could he fetch the Flames on the trade market? And who gets moved after Hudler? Sound off in the comments!