July 9, 2009

This one's going to hurt

We knew that Sammy felt like the odd man out all season long. Nobody talked about re-signing him.

We would've loved to keep Conk, but not at the salary the Blues were offering. He had an excellent season for a backup and has the greatest nickname of any goalie in NHL history. It's impossible to be upset with his decision to leave.

And for 12 months we prepared ourselves to watch Hossa walk. Still, nothing we did could prepare ourselves to watch one of the Wings' best players join the Chicago Blackhawks. It's like if you roomed with a friend for a year, and then he found out that the apartment across the hall was getting free HBO, so he moved. Maybe the rent was cheaper and he had a little extra cash in his pocket than if he had stayed, so you tried to be understanding of his situation (even though his new roomates always forget to pay the electric bill on time). He took his little brother with him too, so now you have some space to yourself. It's not all bad.

But Jiri .... ???

Hudler's agent, Petr Svoboda, confirmed to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland on Wednesday night that the 25-year-old forward has signed a two-year deal with Moscow Dynamo and plans to play in the Kontinental Hockey League. He will earn $5 million a season, tax-free.

This is obviously all Svoboda's doing, as he's clearly still bitter about the 1997 Finals.


It would be difficult to wreck a dude because of his decision to possibly double the money that was being offered to him here. The little guy is far too likeable for either of us to conjure up any serious hate.

Put yourself in that situation. You're an American playing some sport in eastern Europe; you like it there, you like your team and your teammates, and everyone likes you; but then a Canadian team offers you twice the salary and more playing time -- are you going to stay? Seriously? Close to home with double the money?

That's the mature perspective. We acknowledge that it exists, but we're not quite there yet. In fact we just did this half whiny/self-pity thing for about 30 seconds before posting this. It hurts. Jiri should be a Red Wing.

It's not the reasoning for his decision, or where he's going, or money or any of that. All that matters is that we just lost a big 57 points from a third line winger. That's difficult to replace. Between four free agent forwards, the Wings have watched 187 points walk out the door this summer. There aren't a ton of options out their either.

"Detroit city babay -- yyaaAAAYYYyyy"


The undisputed greatest goal of Jiri Hudler's career as a Red Ving.


Chris said...

You asked me why I drink in the summertime. This is why.

And women. God what a week to be in Traverse City for work.

Brent said...

"Reports out of the Czech Republic indicate that it's a two-year deal, while TSN's sister station in Quebec RDS says it's a one-year, $2 million contract."

This can't be right?

TSN Reports

Chris said...

It looks like its two years for the devilish oompa loompa from everything else I've read today.

Tyler said...

Yeah the 1 year/$2 million stuff is from Quebec, so you know it's covered in gay. A number of different places are saying it's $5 million per/tax free. And really, who wouldn't relish sticking it to the Man with a deal like that.

Tyler said...

New question:

You know how every other Red Wings-related conversation starts with whether Pav and Hank should be on the same line? Well what do you do now that three scoring wingers have left?

Leino-Helm- ???

For now, I'm a little worried about the bottom 6. You'll have Leino, Helm and Abdelkader (if they choose to start the season with him) playing their first full NHL seasons. Maltby and Draper are black holes offensively. So the next signing is pretty important.

It's quite a stretch in my mind to assume that Leino will duplicate Hudler's numbers right away, so let's aim for Sammy's 40 points as a benchmark. That leaves about 150 regular season points that will not be made up among three new players given our current cap situation. So whoever they replace these guys with is probably going to defensively oriented to offset the losses.

Or they could just sign Ales Kotalik. I don't know.

Tyler said...

Read of the Day is at Malik's page:

Then to you, about Game 7. Have you recovered from the loss?

"No, actually not. I have practically wanted to put the phone down when you began to speak about it. It's so bothersome.

Does it still sting a lot?

"Yes it does. I know how great it is to win, and that we had the opportunity to do it on home ice. It still stings. And it's going to do so for a good while", says Holmström.

The desire to win is intact. The body is...decent. Detroit's steely old man is ready for its 14th-- but definitely not last--beating in the NHL

It will be a sad day when Homer retires.

Anonymous said...

Ales Kotalik Signs With Rangers
by Paul on 07/09/09 at 02:37 PM ET


and no, I don't have a clue how to replace those guys :(

Tyler said...

Well, fuck.

Cameron Kittle said...

I may be mistaken, but I believe Brett Favre's still available. He's gotta be worth at least a Maltby.

In all seriousness though, Meech might become a constant starter next year in the bottom six. Or unheard of rookies Cory Emmerton and Johan Ryno. Yikes.

Tyler said...


Favre could be the gritty fourth liner that we hoped for with Lapperierre. But then he'd demand first line minutes and retire by late November.

Baroque said...

I say try Meech as a forward. It won't cost anything extra, and it might work out fine - heck, Dandenault was a very useful player for years with his ability to slide back and forth between forward and defense, especially useful in case of an injury in the game where he could fill in wherever needed.

It would be nice to have a player able to start regularly at forward, but in case of injury or ejection fill in for the last couple periods of a game as a third-pairing defenseman to save wear and tear on the other blueliners.