After spending the stretch run with the Florida Panthers, Jiri Hudler has found a new home in Dallas.
— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) August 24, 2016
Jiri Hudler Inks Deal with Stars
The Olomouc native agreed to a one-year $2 million deal. That is a major decrease in value from his previous contract signed in 2012. That deal paid him $4 million per season over the past four years.
Now 32, Hudler will bring good play making ability on either wing that can also play on the power play. He makes swift moves using his diminutive size (5’10”, 178 lbs). He’s entering his tenth season of play in the NHL logging 676 games. Along the way Hudler has put up three 20+ goal seasons and seven 40+ point campaigns. He played most of his career with the Detroit Red Wings, winning a Stanley Cup in 2008 and coming up a game short in 2009. The best season of his career came with Calgary in 2014-15, where, playing with John Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, he scored 31 goals and 76 points. This bested his previous career high by nearly 20 points. In the playoffs, Hudler will chip in here and there, suiting up for 83 games and scoring 16 goals averaging 0.51 points per game.
Defensively, he is nothing special with 23 takeaways this past season, 20 down from 2014-15. He’s not a guy to take many penalties, averaging 25 penalty minutes per campaign in his career. Hudler was rewarded with the Lady Byng in 2014-15. His possession numbers are below average (48.3 Corsi-for percentage) playing for teams that as a unit do not keep the puck well in Calgary and Florida the past four seasons (48.4 team Corsi-for percentage combined). Compare that to his time with the Red Wings when he posted a 56.7 Corsi-for percentage on a team that still had Nicklas Lidstrom patrolling its blue line along with one of the best offenses in the game at the time.
Joining the Stars
Yet again, he finds himself in a high-octane forward group in Dallas that boasts Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp, Tyler Seguin, impact rookie Mattias Janmark and big Valeri Nichushkin. Naturally, they led the league in goals with 265, their second consecutive top-2 finish in lightning the lamp. To go along with putting the puck in the net, they drove possession at a clip of 52.56 percent. That number was good for third in the league. With three 30-goal scorers and five 50-point men to play with, Hudler can very well be an impact player and steal at his price. He also provides experience from past playoff runs.