Over the summer, Jiri Hudler was one of the hottest free agents on the market – at least to the Calgary Flames. There was much skepticism surrounding his value, but when the Flames offered him a four year contract valued at $16 million, Hudler was quick to sign the paperwork.
Detroit was fine letting him walk too. Their offensive depth put them in a position to not be concerned if he left the team for more money. In fact, the Red Wings were used to it. Two years prior, Hudler fled the team for the KHL at the opportunity to earn much more than he was worth in Detroit.
But fresh off his new deal, Hudler has yet to play a single game in a Flames jersey due to the lockout. He initially skated in four games for the KHL’s Prague Lev before falling to injury. The abdominal muscle injury he suffered had kept him out of competition for a few months, returning to action in mid December.
Instead of continuing with the KHL, Hudler made his return with Trinec in the Czech Republic. In his first game back, Hudler was hot. He tallied two goals in a 6-4 victory over Chomutov.
It didn’t take long before the injury bug bit Hudler again, however. During his second game, Hudler was hit in the neck by a skate. He left the game and was taken to a local hospital to receive treatment. Fortunately, the skate blade did not hit an artery, so the injury was a bit more minor. Hudler received stitches to close the wound, and will make a full recovery and return to game action. According to broadcaster Roman Jedlicka, the incident occurred during the 59th minute of play.
Like all of you, we are excited and eager for an NHL season to begin. After the injury troubles Hudler has had overseas, we can certainly bet he is as well.