NHL Signing: Calgary Flames Sign Jiri Hudler
Hudler, coming off a career-best 25-goal season with the Detroit Red Wings, left the only NHL team he’d ever played for when he signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Flames on Monday.
Feaster said he identified Hudler as the Flames top target before the free-agent signing season opened on Sunday and wasted no time going after him. He told Hudler’s agent, Petr Svoboda, that “We were not out there throwing five lines in the water and maybe we’ll catch Jiri but maybe we won’t and we’ll get somebody else.
“He kept asking me to be patient and give Jiri some time, and I told him, ‘Petr, I’m going to be candid with you. We’re all in with you. We have not been going after other guys in this top six forward role because this is our guy.’ We were not hedging our bets. We put all the poker chips in the middle of the table with Jiri.”
Hudler said he was delighted by Feaster’s quick move to sign him, but added that “I have to prove what the organization believes I can do. I’m really excited about it.”
Feaster said the deal does not include any no-trade or no-movement clauses.
The 28-year-old native of the Czech Republic had spent his entire eight-year NHL career in Detroit, scoring 87 goals and 214 points in 409 regular-season games. He contributed 12 goals and 33 points in 66 postseason games and was a member of the Wings’ Cup-winning team in 2008.
Of Hudler’s 25 goals in 2011-12, 23 came at even strength. Feaster said Hudler is expected to be part of the power play under new coach Bob Hartley, but that he’s “not one of those players who picks up all his points on the power play.”
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