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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sounds like Hudler's gone

From Kukla's Korner, here's a translation of a Jiri Hudler interview ...

In Detroit there is wasn’t place for me and I didn’t want to go to another club. So i didn’t ask for a trade. Then came Dynamo with their offer.

I started thinking about it and decided to go to Russia. It was tough but this is not a question of life or death. It is only hockey.

The KHL is good league. I should be one of the key players so it could help me in my career. I don’t think I will close the door to NHL. I am young and there are still 13 years until the end of my career. I want my career to be more colorful.

Sounds like Hudler's set on Russia for the next two seasons.

I was more surprised by Mikael Samuelsson's departure. Marian Hossa was leaving because there was no cap room. Tomas Kopecky was an interchangable part.

Hudler isn't surprising because he wasn't really happy, in my opinion. From being benched for Kopecky in the Western Conference final in 2007 to watching Valtteri Filppula -- who is the same age as Hudler -- get a lucrative long-term contract as a restricted free agent, Hudler knew that he was lower on the Red Wings' pecking order than he wanted to be.

Personally, I thought Hudler would test the waters, but Samuelsson would find a way to stay in Detroit. I think he liked the environment here, but Vancouver came along with a contract that Detroit couldn't touch.


Anonymous Hannibal said...

Not only did Hossa leave, but we lost all of the forwards that we could supposedly keep if we didn't offer Hossa a contract. In retrospect, that's what Holland should have done. He has been snookered badly.

July 8, 2009 at 3:27 PM 
Blogger The Rusty Battle Axe said...

With the signing of Franzen, I am not sure that this could have played out any other way.

July 8, 2009 at 3:51 PM 
Anonymous some kid said...

Snookered? Really?

Regardless of Hossa being in the Wings' plans, there's no way with their current core of players they could afford to pay Samuelsson's the amount of money Vancouver did, pay Hudler what he'll get in the KHL, nor justify giving Kopecky the amount of money Chicago did for how he can play.

It hurts to lose Samuelsson and Hudler, but you can't overpay for players of their caliber. Might as well sit back and start the season with last year's regulars and the AHL kids... then make some moves later in the regular season based upon actual results versus us just wanting free agent day to be Christmas.

July 8, 2009 at 6:44 PM 
Anonymous perfection said...

i feel strongly that this was a mutual decision between Hudler and the team. while i think Holland would have taken him back for the right price, I also think that this is a win/win for the team and Hudler. refer back to Bruce's post on the 6th about the Wings cap issues. well... problem solved - and we didn't lose anybody. that's right - while Hudler's loss for the year (or 2) does hurt our goal production in the near term, we lost no team assets. Hudler can basically play top line minutes and then come back to the Wings when we have more cap space and the contract that he is likely to sign (possibly through arbitration) will then kick in. If we get him for 3 years at 3 mil a piece and he goes off for 2 years and perfects his game only to come back a huge bargain, then everyone will be talking about this decision in a positive sense,

of course if Hudler has a career altering/ending injury.... well, that would be another story. the point is, the KHL is basically serving as a high paying, minor league squad for the wings. Not the worst thing that could have happened by a long shot.

July 9, 2009 at 12:40 AM 
Blogger John said...

First - Kopecky. Many of you may have forgotten. He is almost a package deal now with Hossa. They are skating together in The Czech Republic right now. One of the big reasons we got Hossa was Kopecky. I am betting Hossa chose Chicago for two real reasons, one, the money and the young, forward looking organization now influenced by the genius of Bowman. And the other, he starts there with a friend. A very good friend. You can never weigh the benefits of going somewhere not-alone.

2nd, Hudler and Samuellson both surprised me. They would both be out of the pro's were it not for the wings. Samuellson struggled to prove he was an NHL'r on a bad team before he came to Detroit. We saw something no one else did and gave him a chance to get it together, he responded. Hudler was "too small" to play here. We were the only team that really felt otherwise and gave him all the time he needed to develop properly. Any other organization would have ditched him 2-3 years ago and would never see him become a regular. He'd have been in Russia before he became consistent, and maybe he would have never developed the skills to play the North American rinks.

That's my opinion. I think that Hudler and Sammy's agents are steering them towards bigger dollar signs, not necessarily what is best for them.

Hossa, without Kopecky, was not possible. I think Kopecky was finally going to come into his own this season, and keeping them both would have been a good move.

However, We now have room and cap space to keep Leino, Helm, Ericsson, Abdelkader all in the NHL and we may even have enough space by October (once Holland miraculously finds another Stumpy or Drake or Verbeek or Kocur who wants one last real run) to have the flexibility to shuffle our tough guy up and down as needed whomever that will be.

PS, I don't know if Kip Brennan is signed, but he's a lunatic and he's got some semblance of hockey sense from his time with the Islanders and Kings and is ok with NHL/AHL life as long as he gets some games in. Also, he's the only guy I've taken slapshots from where i actually ducked if it was coming for my head. He's got happy gilmore's shot.

July 9, 2009 at 9:59 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

I've got to step in here. My in-laws are Slovak and I'd be out of the family if I didn't say this ... Kopecky and Hossa are Slovak. Hudler is Czech. Kopecky and Hossa are in Slovakia (Trencin), not the Czech Republic.

Sorry to interrupt.

July 9, 2009 at 10:10 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so rude Bruce

July 9, 2009 at 11:31 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

I sincerely apologize.

July 9, 2009 at 12:01 PM 
Blogger John said...

No, it's ok. You are correct. I don't want to be the ignorant American to Hudler or Hossa by that remark. I have had a few concussions and it mostly affects my memory. But they are good, close friends from Slovakia. I just didn't do my (since i'm not a journalist) homework.

July 9, 2009 at 12:46 PM 

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