DETROIT — Jiri Hudler got the money he was looking for, signing a four-year deal worth $4 million a season with the Calgary Flames.
“Huds gave us some good hockey through the years,” Holland said. “He helped us win a Stanley Cup in 2008. We drafted him and watched him develop into an NHL player. We made him a contract offer, shortly after the season. I didn’t really move a lot. I felt very comfortable with the offer we made.”
Hudler scored a career-high 25 goals last season to go along with 25 assists and finished a plus-10 in the plus/minus category.
Hudler got the same money Colorado forward David Jones got this offseason. Jones only scored 20 goals and had 17 assists.
“When we signed Mikael Samuelsson on Sunday that really probably sealed Jiri’s fate here,” Holland said. “We had an opening. We weren’t prepared to go to $4 million because we had other commitments. It worked out good for Jiri and we’re happy to have Sammy back.”
It’s believed that the Wings weren’t prepared to go much over $3.2 million to keep Hudler.
“I was fortunate enough to play with (Red Wings veterans),” Hudler said during a conference call. “The work ethic was incredible. I learned a lot and I’m going to use it later on in my career starting now. I don’t mind pressure. When you use it the right way, it motivates you and makes you better. I’m just going to go into training camp ready and in shape. Things can go wrong but like I said, I’m going to do my best to do what I do.”
It’s the second time Hudler has left Detroit. After the 2008-09 season, he signed a two-year deal with the Dynamo Moscow of the KHL that was rumored to be worth $10 million tax-free.