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Hurry Happy, Get Better

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Jiri Hudler is presenting a dilemma for the Detroit Red Wings.

How long can they keep playing him and getting nothing to show for it? Does he have a future with the organization?

Coach Mike Babcock has been patient. He has given Hudler ample opportunity to succeed.

At times, Babcock has played Hudler at the expense of players who have been more deserving, such as energy players and penalty killers Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller. Babcock has played Hudler at the point on the second power-play unit in the five games since Mike Modano was injured.

Hudler has not capitalized. He has no points in the past five games. He has only one goal and five assists in 22 games. His minus-7 rating is the worst on the team.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jiri+hudler

Comments

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Coach Mike Babcock has been patient. He has given Hudler ample opportunity to succeed.

That is arguable.  Hudler   22 GP,  1 G,  5 A, 6 pts,    -7,  ATOI   12:11

Hudler’s minutes are comparable to the 4 Liners (who do get PK time).  Although Hudler has gotten some PP time.

I do note that his -7, b y far, the worst on the team (next is Modano at -3).

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 12/08/10 at 12:22 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Does Hudler have to clear waivers if he’s sent down?

If so, that’s win/win if you ask me.

What the worst that happens? You lose Hudler’s cap hit and gain Jan Mursak? I’d take that trade off in a heartbeat.

I’m probably completely wrong in my assumptions, though. This cap/waiver/CBA crap make my head hurt.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 12/08/10 at 12:36 PM ET

Avatar

Hudler’s minutes are comparable to the 4 Liners

Yeah, and that might say something about his play.

He’s played up to 17 minutes a game this year with nothing to show for it.

Patrick Eaves and Darren Helm have the same points total as Hudler (with Eaves playing fewer games) and they’re both supposed to be mainly defensive players whereas Hudler is supposed to be an offensive player.

By the way, a player who scored almost 60 points in his last season with the Wings, playing the same minutes per game as he’s playing this year.

Posted by Garth on 12/08/10 at 12:38 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

He’s just not the same player. I don’t know what happened. I’m not normally someone who overreacts to poor play (recent drunken comments about Chris Osgood aside), but he has been about as invisible as a player can be. I was unable to catch the San Jose game (thank God), but I honestly can’t remember his name being mentioned ONCE in the LA game. And that’s happened a lot this year.

He has given the Wings zero value through 25 games. Time to explore other options.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 12/08/10 at 12:46 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

how about we begin with “Hurry..”

Posted by Rdwings28 on 12/08/10 at 01:17 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I don’t know what the solution is about “should he be on the team” but as the games are concerned he shouldn’t be playing.

whether he sits or plays, the team’s total salary is the same.  they have a better chance of winning without him in the lineup.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 12/08/10 at 01:30 PM ET

Osrt's avatar

He’s a WITCH!

Burn him at the STAAAKKEEE!!!!

Posted by Osrt on 12/08/10 at 01:31 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Very confusing what happened. I think most people, myself included, thought Hudler would actually be a better NHL player this season than in his last NHL season—which was a pretty nice offensive season, regardless, for a guy that plays 10 - 12 minutes.

You can even find many quotes this offseason of guys like Lidstrom talking about how they thought Hudler gained a lot of leadership skill and confidence in the KHL and would translate that back to improved NHL performances.

I can understand having to re-adjust to the North American rink, but only to the tune of maybe the first month of the season.

The optimistic side of me says that it’s just a confidence issue. Once he pots a couple, his confidence will increase, and he is most definitely of having a hot streak where he scores 5 goals in 5 - 10 game span. We saw Big Rig finally get healthy, get ice, and build his confidence, and now he’s looking like the guy we expected him to be last season before the injury rash hit. Perhaps the same can happen with Hudler.

The pessimistic side says he’s had over a quarter of a season. He did finally bag that first goal, and was unable to build on that. All the while the team has been playing very well. He’s had some cherry opportunities to put up some points with (relatively) little duress, thanks to the fact that basically every player on the team is meeting or exceeding their offensive expectations, save for Hudler himself.

The team is winning, so I’m okay with them trying to ride it out with Hudler. It’s worth investing a little more time and patience in him because of his upside if it ever clicks back on for him, especially come late in the year when you need as many potential scoring options as possible.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/08/10 at 01:40 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

The optimistic side of me says that it’s just a confidence issue. Once he pots a couple, his confidence will increase, and he is most definitely of having a hot streak where he scores 5 goals in 5 - 10 game span.

Posted by Nathan from the chiropractor on 12/08/10 at 10:40 AM ET

The problem is, he’s not even getting any offensive chances. It’s not like he’s snakebit. He just isn’t giving himself the opportunity to score because he’s not shooting the puck or setting up his teammates…and he’s playing on the 2nd PP unit.

And he seems twice as easy to knock off the puck than he was before he went to the KHL, and he was really easy to knock off the puck before that, so that’s really saying something.

Oh yeah, and he can’t play defense.

Other than that, he’s a prized asset.

The only solace I take is the fact that I’ve been wrong about virtually everything Red Wings related this entire season, so here’s hoping I continue that streak regarding Hudler.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 12/08/10 at 01:56 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Mandingo, to be fair, my next paragraph was the pessimistic view… smile

There’s really no great solution. Might as well keep him on the ice to try and snap out of it.

Waiving Hudler makes no sense unless the Wings really think Mursak is NHL-ready, because you don’t want Mursak to come up to sit in the press box every other game when he can be playing top line forward minutes in GR and at the top of the scoring charts in the league.

Sticking Hudler in the press box makes sense on occasion, if he’s still in a funk and you’re up against a team where the extra PK ability of the one of Eaves/Miller/Draper is critical.

But day-to-day, he’s $2.9 million bucks that needs to be on the ice trying like hell to get out of the funk, especially since the team is winning regardless. At least that way when it gets past the break and we’re in the stretch run, we can all feel confident that we know what we currently have in each player, and can then put the best 12 forwards on the ice in the playoffs.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/08/10 at 02:56 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

And he seems twice as easy to knock off the puck than he was before he went to the KHL,

Knowing that he was going back to the Wings after his stint in the KHL may have made him a bit lax in his training and the shape he was in when he returned to the Team.

I do not feel he has earned his way back into the line-up. May as well play him, as he is still getting paid.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 12/08/10 at 03:12 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

The only think I could think of, outside of playing the waiting game, is to give him some shifts with Pav. If anybody can bring a player out of a stinky funk its Datsyuk.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 12/08/10 at 03:13 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

The problem is, he’s not even getting any offensive chances. It’s not like he’s snakebit. He just isn’t giving himself the opportunity to score because he’s not shooting the puck or setting up his teammates…and he’s playing on the 2nd PP unit.

he has 35 shots, 11th on the team.  that’s more than Helm, Stuart, Abdelkader, and Rafalski.

I do see him setting up opportunities, but he keeps making the exact opposite of the right choice (shoot or pass).

Filpulla had that problem early in the season and once he corrected it, good things started to happen.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 12/08/10 at 04:02 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

he has 35 shots, 11th on the team.  that’s more than Helm, Stuart, Abdelkader, and Rafalski.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 12/08/10 at 01:02 PM ET

Wow. That’s really surprising.

See,  told you I’ve been wrong about just about everything this year smile

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 12/08/10 at 05:16 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

I know I said that was my last post on Hudler, but come on Babcock—he doesn’t play well with Abdelkader and Cleary.  If you can’t see that, you’re an idiot.  He hasn’t played well with Cleary since the start of the season, and the only difference between then and now is Abdekader instead of Madonna.

Give him a decent shot with other linemates if you want him to succeed; “given him ample opportunity” is bullshit.  When he produced at his best, he played with Flip, so get him back with him to jump-start his game, THEN shuffle him around.

*#$%@& man, it’s not that hard.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 12/08/10 at 05:20 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

he doesn’t play well with Abdelkader and Cleary

Wasn’t he playing mostly with Cleary 2 years ago when we all loved him? Possibly centered by Fil?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 12/08/10 at 05:24 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

err…centered by Draper.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 12/08/10 at 05:25 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

It would be a good trade if we could get a third round pick in one of either of the next two year’s draft for Huds.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 12/08/10 at 05:47 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

Tampa will take him.

Or trade Hudler for Leino.  wink

Posted by TheFreak on 12/08/10 at 06:28 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Wasn’t he playing mostly with Cleary 2 years ago when we all loved him? Possibly centered by Fil?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 12/08/10 at 02:24 PM ET

No, he was playing mostly with Flip and Samuelsson.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 12/08/10 at 08:22 PM ET

Avatar

When he produced at his best, he played with Flip, so get him back with him to jump-start his game, THEN shuffle him around.

Why should be be promoted when he’s done jack shit so far?

Is that what should be happening?  Well, I guess maybe it IS the logic since Eaves and Miller are being benched regularly when they’re actually playing WELL while this nothing keeps getting time he hasn’t earned.

Posted by Garth on 12/08/10 at 11:49 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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