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Hudler to return next season?

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Pierre Lebrun just said on HNIC's Hot Stove League in the 2nd intermission of Pens-Sens is that word is Hudler will sign a 2-year deal with the Wings in the next week or two, per the arbitration terms, and that the Wings are happy about that. I would like that. Now, it may just be that Lebrun is just repeating stuff that he heard from Detroit beat writers that we knew about days ago.

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Red Wings cheer confirmation that Jiri Hudler will return to team next season | - MLive.com

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Detroit Red Wings -- management and players -- did not feel spurned when Jiri Hudler bolted for Russia last summer. They understand it's a business.

They also will enthusiastically welcome him back next season.

"We're happy to have him back,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We're in a real competitive business. You want to find every opportunity you can to make your team better.''

Hudler's agent, Petr Svoboda, confirmed Friday that the small but skilled 26-year-old forward will rejoin the Red Wings in 2010-11 after spending one year with Moscow Dynamo of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

With his terrific shot, deft passing ability and willingness to roam into high-traffic areas around the net, Hudler accumulated career highs in goals (23) and points (57) in 2008-09.

It prompted the Russian club to offer him a two-year, $10 million (tax-free) deal, far more than he would have earned in the NHL.

Dynamo's merger with another club paved the way for his release from the second year of the contract.

"He realized money isn't (as) important as wanting to go back to where he likes it,'' Svoboda said. "He missed the NHL, he missed the Red Wings organization and the guys.

"He's thrilled to go back. He had such a great experience (in Detroit).''

Hudler has a two-year contract with the Red Wings with a salary-cap hit of $2.875 million, a deal both sides agreed to before their arbitration hearing last summer.

"The exciting part for me is we know what we're getting,'' Holland said. "He's really coming into the prime of his career. I think we're getting a very motivated player.

"He's a popular guy in the locker room, a bit of a clubhouse clown. His teammates like him.''

Red Wings players, like Holland, favor any move that makes the team better.

"He's got great hands, sees the ice real well,'' Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "He can score a goal or make that pass to win a game for you.''

Said Johan Franzen: "He's a game-breaker. Really good hands, good hockey sense. Showed last year in the playoffs he can come up with really huge plays when we need it.''

Hudler is not eligible to return in this year's playoffs.

With Hudler in the fold, the Red Wings have 14 players signed for next season at a salary cap number of $43.6 million: forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula, Dan Cleary, Kris Draper, Franzen and Hudler; defensemen Brian Rafalski, Brad Stuart, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl; and goaltenders Chris Osgood and Jimmy Howard.

Holland said the $56.8 million salary cap likely will rise slightly. He said Hudler's return won't significantly effect the team's decisions on which free agents to re-sign.

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Good to see it's official. Another guy who works hard and can put the puck in the net. One of my favorite players before he left so I'm pretty excited to see him back next season.

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I was going to start a new thread, but figured bumping this one would provide some entertainment

I think I have finally had it with Jiri. I kept waiting and waiting on him, but I am at a point where I would not care if they waived him/traded him/benched him, anything to get him out of the lineup. He has been BRUTAL. Not just the lack of scoring, he is soft, he gets knocked off the puck easily, he isnt that fast, he doesnt really play defense and doesnt really seem to be trying at times on the ice. You can go a whole game and notice him, and if you do notice him its because he screwed up. 1 goal in 27 games, and it was a fluke that was shot from behind the net. Only 5 assists. 0 points in his last 10 games. To make that even more amazing, he has been getting consistent PP time. Team worst in +/-. He is a liability and we have better options. Let Miller/Eaves/Draper and Abdelkader play every day. Eaves and Abdelkader have shown WAY more offensive ability than Hudler. And at least all 4 of those guys play hard and do some dirty work that is needed. He is a waste of a 2.875 cap hit. Get rid of him and have some room to possible make a move if needed later.

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I was going to start a new thread, but figured bumping this one would provide some entertainment

I think I have finally had it with Jiri. I kept waiting and waiting on him, but I am at a point where I would not care if they waived him/traded him/benched him, anything to get him out of the lineup. He has been BRUTAL. Not just the lack of scoring, he is soft, he gets knocked off the puck easily, he isnt that fast, he doesnt really play defense and doesnt really seem to be trying at times on the ice. You can go a whole game and notice him, and if you do notice him its because he screwed up. 1 goal in 27 games, and it was a fluke that was shot from behind the net. Only 5 assists. 0 points in his last 10 games. To make that even more amazing, he has been getting consistent PP time. Team worst in +/-. He is a liability and we have better options. Let Miller/Eaves/Draper and Abdelkader play every day. Eaves and Abdelkader have shown WAY more offensive ability than Hudler. And at least all 4 of those guys play hard and do some dirty work that is needed. He is a waste of a 2.875 cap hit. Get rid of him and have some room to possible make a move if needed later.

Agreed. Eaves has been efficent scoring in short doses, would be interesting to see him get even more chances. Hudler just does not look the same, theres no confidence there and he is not the same player as he was. Could they send him to the AHL for a few weeks to get confidence? He is looking to pass first. He has been the most disappointing player this year for the Wings.

How much is his cap hit this year anyways?

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I was going to start a new thread, but figured bumping this one would provide some entertainment ...

You have a sick sense of humour...just sayin'...

Anyway, as far as Hudler goes, it seems like going to Russia was the worst thing he could have done for his career, developmentally anyway. It's a shame, because before he left, he was looking like he was starting to become that 2nd/3rd line scorer people thought he would become.

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