July 2, 2012
Flames find their top-six forward
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
CALGARY - The Calgary Flames have pulled the top-six forward they were gunning for in the free-agency market.
The club signed Jiri Hudler to a four-year, US$16-million contract Monday.
Hudler, 28, is coming off a 25-goal, 50-point season with the Detroit Red Wings.
“Jiri Hudler is a highly skilled and dynamic offensive player,” Flames GM Jay Feaster said in a statement. “He is one of the very best goal scorers in the NHL at even strength, and he puts a very high percentage of his shots on net, generating scoring chances for himself and rebound opportunities for his teammates. He fits our need to upgrade and improve our skill, and we are very pleased to have him on board.”
A product of Czech Republic, the left winger has played 409 NHL games in which he’s netted 87 goals and 127 assists.
He’s also skated in 66 playoff games and collected 12 goals and 33 points.
Hudler’s arrival will also give the Flames a fellow Czech to help Roman Cervenka adapt to the NHL.
Cervenka, the KHL star, was signed in the spring.
With Hudler’s signing, the Flames have committed $69.95 million in salaries to a dozen forwards, eight defencemen and two goalies, and that doesn’t include a new contract for restricted free-agent Mikael Backlund and top prospect Sven Baertschi.
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak