Is it official? Is former Detroit Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler officially done with the NHL?
Looks that way, after the KHL officially registered Hudler’s 2 year $10 Million deal with HC Dynamo Moscow on Thursday afternoon. Who knows what the IIHF and the NHL will do, or any future impact this may or may not have.
But back up for a second. Jiri Hudler got a contract offer of $5 Million per season? Holy crap. Is he really worth that? TSN reported Hudler received an offer of $15 Million over 5 years and that’s a bit more in line with what he brings to an organization.
Actually, hold that thought. Am I the only one who isn’t terribly sure how good Jiri Hudler is? I know the name, I know his face, but seriously, can you recall a highlight reel goal he’s scored? I can’t. What I can tell you is he registered a career high in points last year with the Red Wings – 57 points in 82 games. Yeah – that’s $87,719 per point (yes, I rounded down).
When I think of $5 Million per year players, I think of stars like Martin Havlat, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Alex Kovalev, and Alexander Semin to name a few. If I’m building a team as a GM, I’d pick all these guys far before Hudler.
Is he really that good? Mike Babcock had a great quote in last season’s Stanley Cup players saying “the beauty of playing in Detroit is guys like Hudler get to play against other teams 3rd lines…”. Very true – Hudler has benefit from Detroit’s depth in playing against weaker checking lines. Also, from playing with other quality forwards.
For what it’s worth, I see Hudler more comparable to another forward the Red Wings just lost, Mikael Samuelsson, now of the Vancouver Canucks. Their career stats are similar but paychecks aren’t – Samuelsson signed a 3 year $7.5 Million contract earlier this summer ($2.5 Million average).
Hudler – 255 games played, 127 points.
Samuelsson – 466 games played, 208 points.
According to salaries, Hudler is twice as good as Samuelsson. That line might belong in the “Things that make you go hmmmm” category. Whatever we may think about this, given the kind of money Hudler signed on for, he’ll be relied on as a top producing forward. I’m not convinced he can be the best player on the ice, consistently. Not after 255 regular season NHL games played.
Stay classy, Jiri Hudler.