"Detroit Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler filed for salary arbitration by Sunday's deadline, indicating his desire to remain with the club ...
... Hudler, 25, is due for a big raise from his $1.15 million salary after posting career-high totals in goals (23) and points (57) during the regular season. He wasn't as effective in the playoffs, however, with only four goals and 12 points in 23 games ...
... No Red Wing has had an arbitration hearing since Ray Sheppard in 1995. It's an unpleasant situation that the club prefers to avoid."
The obvious part is that Jiri is due for a raise. He should be making more money than Kris Draper, whether that's as a Wing or not.
The term "big raise" is questionable, because we aren't as familiar with the ins-and-outs of arbitration as others. For this we turn our attention to Kyle at Babcock's Death Stare , who has been pumping out quality posts left and right so far this summer.
This guy is the perfect arbitration case. In 07/08, he had the best point per minute ratio in the league, and this past season, he had to have been top 10 again this past season. Two players with similar production, Ryan Clowe and David Booth, just cashed in. Clowe is at $3.5 million. Booth is at $4.2 million. If it reaches arbitration, all they have to do is bring up those cases and Hudler’s value is set in that range.
The question we'd have is how much do points -- namely, regular season points -- take precedent in arbitration cases? Getting 57 points out of a guy making $1.15 million is an absolute steal, but he turned into a ghost during the latter half of the playoffs, and he never seems to click on the first or second line when Babcock gives him that chance. It would suck to see him command a salary as high as $4 million when he struggles as a top 6 forward. So then, how much does a skilled depth forward run for?
People don’t seem to realize how much a young 50+ point producing 3rd line forward is actually worth. A lot of people seem to think a short deal at about $2.5 million is all he’s looking for. I don’t know why he would take anything like that when he knows he’s guaranteed at least $1 million more if he just plays hard to get and waits it out ...
... I haven’t sweated our free agency losses too much, in fact I’m thrilled we didn’t bring any of our guys back at the contracts they got, but we need to keep Hudler. We need to keep the depth among our top 9 forwards. Sure, there’s Tanguay and Kotalik still on the market, but nothing says those guys are going to be any easier to sign.
Tanguay has made $5 million+ over the last few years, and with his average point production exceeding Jiri's, he's more than likely to be out of Holland's sights. Kotalik is an interesting case in that he's got size, a big shot and a similar point output, but he'll be 31 in December and isn't as offensively rounded as Jiri. So yeah, let's just make this easy and get Huds to take a deal before the arbitration hearing on July 20th.
Ulimately though, Kyle's most important claim was this:
I do like Hudler a lot. He’s one of the more likable guys off the ice because he’s so weird and he really looks like an anime character.