Around the Rink – July 10th Edition

87244944CC083_Detroit_Red_WPhoto by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Forward Jiri Hudler signed with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL on Wednesday in a surprising turn of events. It was expected that the Wings wouldn’t be able to hold onto all four of their major free agents this summer (Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler, and Tomas Kopecky), but I don’t think many people anticipated that all four would not return this year. As a result, the talk of the media world and blogosphere has been on Hudler’s signing and what the Wings are going to do now.

So what happened?

On Sunday, Hudler filed for arbitration so that no other team could submit an offer sheet to him. He then received an offer from Dynamo Moscow, a team in the Kontinental Hockey League, that he just couldn’t turn down. The two-year deal was reportedly worth between $3-5 million per year and tax free according to That means Hudler will make much more than he would have with the Red Wings due to taxes.

The Wings and Hudler’s agent will still go to arbitration, which will begin no earlier than July 20. As a result, the Wings will still have the rights to Hudler should he return to the NHL after his stint in Russia. The arbitrator will determine the term and salary with a maximum of a two-year deal. If Huds does return and whenever he does, he will have to abide by that salary. Let’s say Hudler is awarded a two-year, $2.5 million salary in arbitration. Upon his return whether it’s next year or in five years, Hudler will play two years with the Wings at that salary.

The blogosphere is mostly responding in shock or confusion because none of them anticipated all four players would leave. In fact, early reactions to the rumor Hudler was signing with a Russian team indicated that bloggers felt it was a negotiating ploy rather than an actual decision to play overseas. Before the deal became official, Bill at Abel to Yzerman blogged that Hudler simply needed to sign the deal that GM Ken Holland was offering. Kyle at Babcock’s Death Stare wasn’t surprised to learn that Hudler would not return to Detroit this year, but he thought Detroit had re-signed at least one of the other guys or got a couple draft picks from an offer sheet. Matt of On the Wings says that he’s not bitter about Hudler leaving for more money, but doesn’t deny that this one hurts.

While the Wings hate to lose 88 goals in the off-season, Hudler’s absence without him turning to another NHL team will provide the Wings with some room under the cap. Detroit has somewhere around $1.5-2 million left under the cap, which they will likely use to sign a cheap depth forward or two. Management is not really in a rush to get that done, but will take their time to find the right player to fit in the system and under the cap. Who would you like to see the front office sign this off-season to fill out the roster?

Preseason schedule

The Red Wings announced their 2009-10 preseason schedule yesterday afternoon, which is slated to kick off on Sept. 16 against the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena. Eight of the nine matchups will be against Eastern Conference teams, including back-to-back contests versus Toronto and a game against the Penguins. Detroit will wrap up its preseason in Sweden to prepare for the season opener overseas. For a full preseason schedule, visit

Development camp continues

The Red Wings are holding their annual development camp this week with 33 participants, including 15 players who are not Detroit prospects but were invited to the camp. Once again, George Malik of Snapshots has another incredibly thorough recap of Day Two of the development camp.

Since the last edition of Around the Rink, has posted four more features on players participating in the camp. We talked to Andrej Nestrasil and Brian Lashoff on the second day of camp. readers learned how Nestrasil has adapted to the Quebec league after growing up in the Czech Republic, just like the Red Wings’ director of player development Jiri Fischer. For more on Nestrasil, check out our 11-minute interview with him. Despite being undrafted, Lashoff earned a three-year entry-level deal after last year’s training camp.

Yesterday, we featured tough guy Mitchell Callahan and offensive defenseman Nick Jensen. As the first grinder prospect to be drafted by Detroit in about 11 years, Callahan reminds some of a younger Darren McCarty and he models his game after Darcy Tucker. Instead of playing high school hockey in his senior year, Jensen left to play in the USHL. It was the right decision as Jensen finished the season with a league-leading +34 rating, the attention of NHL scouts, a commitment to St. Cloud State University, and then becoming a Red Wings’ draft pick.

Hockeytown Blog will wrap up our coverage of the development camp later today at

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12 Responses to Around the Rink – July 10th Edition

  1. James Hopp says:

    Hey James.
    Hockeytown Cafe James Hopp 20th Birthday October 4th, 2009.
    Detroit, Michigan
    Grandma Christa Happy Birthday Today, July 10th, 2009.

  2. Pingback: Top Posts «

  3. redwingsguy96 says:

    I am very disappointed by all this, Huds is a great player but still very much developing as an NHL hockey player, this move to Russia may kill his career if he doesn’t produce. There may be no place for him two, three years down the line on the Wings, players coming-and-going with Free Agency and enevitable retirements coming.

    I don’t understand this move by Hudler, he always talked about how much he loved Detroit…why would he desert us like this then? If your interested in playing in Europe wait a few years, he’s still pretty young. Just seems like the kinda guy that wouldn’t jump at the money. I’ve lost a lot of respect for him…

    In my mind there’s no dount now (if not before) there’s a void in the Wings lineup, Zetterberg, Dats and Franzen can’t score all the goals. Holland has to make a play for Heatley, send Stuart, Meech hell even Drapes to get him. His 40+ goals will fill the hole left by Hossa, Sammy and Hudler. Plus taking on Dany’s contract would still make him a Wing for years to come…

    Get Murray on the phone Holland and make a bloody offer! Dany could very well be the next Yzerman or Shanny in Detroit!

    • wingnut4life says:

      we cannot go out and get heatley. they are offering wayyy too much 4 him. and y the hell wood we send stuart? they will not ask for meech and drapes. sounds like your lil fantasy. the wings cant give away ne more talent. yeah heatley’s good. but he’s had many injuries. and we dont need 40+ scores with all the young talent weve got. the wings have Leino, Ericsson, abdelkader, and Helm all ready to play in the nhl. ive heard ericsson and two outta the 3 fwds are going to be in the lineup. if you look at our team we dont have ne brusiers. downey cant skate and idk y hes even in the nhl. we need a bruiser that will hit, fight, and score. somebody like shannahan. hell y not get shannahan again? hes out there. hes 40. nobody wants him. he can still skate and hit and score. also- the red wings need a backup goalie. howard in my mind isnt ready. ive seen him play in the minors. hes not ready for the nhl. there’s still 2 guys out in free agency named Manny [ manny legace, manny fernandez] theyre good goalies and they shood be cheap. theyll will never see a starting position again unless they go to ATL, L.A. or NYI and unless they just want money i believethey wood want to play in detroit.

      • redwingsguy96 says:

        Nah, your way off, you must not follow nhl news much. Its doable, the Sens will take whoever they can get right now…plus Dany would obviously love to come to Detroit, a big time contender. Stuart and Meech would be worth the risk of taking in Heatley, you have to clear contract space for him so someone with a semi-big contract would have to go…Brad gets the axe, good but not good enough, we can replace him. Meech to me is way overated, not a very good puck mover or defensive defenceman, I don’t see him having much of an NHL career. Bottom line the risk is worth the reward for Heatley, I would at the very least see what the Sens want for him and come to a meeting ground. And what’s your problem with Howard?! He rules! Remember his perforance against Dallas a season ago, he was steller. I like this move by Holland, he’s ready. They’ll no doubt be some bumps in the road but I see him as an NHL goaltender, size and talent. I do agree it’d be nice to get a bruiser that can score and stay in the lineup but there’s just nobody out there right now, get Dany before someone snags him!

        Forgive me, but your hockey knowledge seems…questionable at best lol

        • wingnut4life says:

          i respect your opinion but this is just how i see it… howard will be a decent backup yeah. but if ozzy gets injured within the first month of the regular season you think that howard can take over and get us to one of the top three seeds in the west? and also.. you say meech is overrated.. i never hear meech being talked about at all. i agree he’s not good enuff i never said he wuz. and yeah this trade would work out. but why would we trade our d for a fwd wen there’s still talent in F.A.? tanguay, peca, or afinogenov. but thats not how holland is. he wants his young players to play and be dominate players in the future which i think they can be. and how do you know that the sens will take what they can get? if you were the gm for the sens would you trade heatley to get meech and stuart? didnt think so..

          • redwingsguy96 says:

            Sens are desperate, media in Canada is all over it…they just want to unload him and be done with it, Heatley wants out of Ottawa and Sens management will take what they can get. Peca, Tanguay and Afiniganov aren’t good investments for the Wings…Pecas too injury prone, Tanguay’s a floater and Afinagenov isn’t nearly as good as he was as a youngster. Maybe Axelsson or Moen but even then there’s not anyone really desirable, if Holland does hold I imagine he’ll wait until the deadline next year. I’m just afraid the Wings will run into trouble before then…you can’t put all your eggs into one basket with your young guys, if you have an opportunity, take it! Get Dany, because in todays NHL you won’t get another. We still have no idea how the youngsters will fair in a full-on, grind of an NHL season.

            • Chris Spinks says:

              Oh for the love of God. Look, screw Heatley. If the Red Wings needed him they wouldve signed him by now. Aparently you people have never heard of a salary cap. it caused the lockout. Detroit doesnt have enough room for the guy, theyre loaded with talent and they just keep draining Sweden of they’re talent (thats the secret to success) I hope this can end all your crap about who should we trade to get heatley. he isnt good enough to wear The Winged Wheel.

  4. redwingsguy96 says:

    You’re not up on your hockey knowledge much are you…Wings can swing it they just need to dump a few contracts, a trade is very doable, you just need to read the other posts properly next time. And Dany’s not worthy of the Winged Wheel? Who the hell are you to say that, Dany’s a 40+ goal scorer and admired greatly in Canada as one of our best players. Why wouldn’t we want him? With the Wings depth they can afford to give up a few of their younger players, plus dump a semi-big contract like Stuart, bang, you’ve got Dany in Detroit. I think it’d be golden, like getting Shanny back in 96. Dany could very well be the next Yzerman, Shanny or Fedorov in Detroit. The way Holland squeezes things together they could do it…and sorry about the other comment, my laptop screwed up.

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