July 6, 2009

Save Huds


*****


"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.

*****

14 comments:

Osrt said...

I'm on board. I like me some Happy despite that weird clucking ritual he had going with Ozzie; that was fuching strange.

He's grown so much here, but he'd be much more prolific and highlighted in the East, the little bitches conference.

Dave said...

I have to echo BDS and say that I hope Huds and his agent are gentle when they bend Holland over. Huds is a Red Wing and if he wants to remain a Red Wing he's got to settle for less than he'll get on the open market. That's obviously how it works.

My guess is that's less than a $2.75mm cap hit to stay in Detroit. He's a guy who produces on the 3rd/4th line and on the PP. You really can't afford to blow a significant chunk of cap space on a guy like that. At least Cleary and Fil can play in the top 6 and can PK and play on the PP. So they should make more than Happy.

But with the loss of Hossa and Samuelsson I wouldn't want to be in Ken Holland's shoes trying to replace all those goals if Happy joins those guys on the UFA gravy train.

cmk said...

Hudler would be fine to keep--as long as it is for much less than $3 mil a year. I just don't think he is worth as much as Fil--and that is NOT me being biased. ;)

Triple Deke Staff said...

"I just don't think he is worth as much as Fil--and that is NOT me being biased."

suuuUUUUUUUuuurrrre.(Smile face).

- Tyler

Chris said...

You know, you can just make the smile face using normal characters on a keyboard. It is a amazing. You see, you just put a semi colon, a dash, then a half a parenthesis (depending on if you are happy or sad) and boom, smile face.

See -> :-)

Fuckin magic.

Tyler said...

Ok. I'm going to try it.

Here it goes...........

.................

...........

:(


Shit I think I did it wrong.

Chris said...

Apparently I think I'm funny when I'm hungover at work.

Tyler said...

On a Wednesday? In July? You sir are hardcore. I'd be interested in seeing your production level at work after the Wings lose a playoff game.

Brook said...

Uh oh...

Reports: Jiri Hudler signs with Russian team
Ted Kulfan / The Detroit News
Detroit -- The Red Wings weren't surprised when Marian Hossa and Mikael Samuelsson signed elsewhere.
But Jiri Hudler?
The restricted free agent might have thrown the Wings a curveball. There are reports that he has signed with Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League.

There are conflicting reports out of Russia and the Czech Republic, where Hudler lives, as to the term of the deal -- one or two years, with Hudler earning approximately $2 million per season.

Hudler, 25, filed for arbitration Sunday after a season in which he had a career-high 23 goals and 57 points. Hudler earned $1.15 million in 2008-09. General manager Ken Holland wasn't immediately available for immediate comment. Holland said earlier this week he was far apart from Hudler on a new contract, but was optimistic the two sides could work out a deal before arbitration hearings begin July 20.

Tyler said...

Uh .... the hell?

RT said...

JIRIIIIIIII...say it ain't so

Hopefully this is just a negotiation tactic by Jiri's agent although it would make sense since Huds' lack of size in the NHL often becomes glaring in the more physical games during the season and playoffs. He has plenty of offensive skill and maybe he feels that he can flourish in a less physical European league. But still...the fuck Jiri?

Chris said...

Doesn't look like it. Fuck me.

cmk said...

Now, now, now, Tyler. Just because I appreciate VF for more than his hockey abilities doesn't mean I can't see how well he plays the game. The non-hockey assets just are a very nice addition. ;)

Anyway--what to say about our Happy Boy here. This definitely came out of left field and if it is just a negotiating ploy, as some have suggested, I hope Holland doesn't cave and offer him more than he's worth. I STILL don't think he's worth the $3 mil that VF is getting--$2.5-2.75 mil at the most. Seems as if the team will have a very different look this year.

RT said...

So looks like the Save Huds campaign has fallen short and he's truly bound for Russia where they offered him some stupid amount of tax exempt money that he couldn't refuse. My dreams of running into him wasted at the bar have been dashed unless I make a trip out to Moscow. Truly a sad day to lose a guy nicknamed Happy.

With the cap room left over I hope we bring back Jason Williams. I really liked him but I feel that he was too young and unpolished during his first stint with the Wings but now he's got some experience and a good right handed shot for the power play if needed. He'd be a great 15-20 goal guy if he's willing to sacrifice a little money to play for us again. We'll see what Kenny's got up his sleeve.