A slight twist on The Clash big hit of 1981 “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” that is the question going through Jiri Hudler’s mind right now. Hudler has done everything right so far in his career as he is a player with a lot of offensive potential, however he has accepted his role with Detroit as a third line player that will fill in on the top two lines when injuries occur. Hudler is a restricted free agent who is hoping for more money. With Marian Hossa moving onto Chicago there is a spot available in the top 6 forwards and many feel that it is finally Hudler’s turn.
Hudler has steadily improved his offensive numbers over the last 3 seasons. In his first full season Hudler scored 15 goals and 25 points in 76 games. In his second full season Hudler improved by 17 points, scoring 13 goals and 42 points. Last season Hudler broke out with 23 goals and 57 points, an increase of 15 points. Remember that Hudler plays mostly on the 3rd line and gets very little powerplay time. Hudler is poised for a big breakout if he can land a top 6 spot in Detroit; watch for him to get 70-80 points next season that is if he stays in the Detroit.
Hudler is currently awaiting an arbitration hearing with Detroit as he is hoping for $4 million a season, however Hudler also has a contract with Dynamo of the KHL. Hudler signed a 2 year contract worth $10 million to play for Dynamo in Russia, although the deal is not registered yet as they are waiting for the results of the arbitration hearing. So fantasy GMs who hold Hudler’s rights are waiting and watching to see where Hudler will play next year. Detroit newspapers are stating that Detroit GM Ken Holland is not prepared to walk away from Hudler’s contract, even if he wins the hearing. If Hudler does go to Russia this would open a top 6 spot which Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader or Ville Leino would be fighting for. Stay tuned to see if Hudler stays or goes.