The New York Rangers Spotlight on....
This Czech Repuplic hockey star was born in January 1984 and after a point per game campaign in the Czech Extraliga, was drafted 58th overall by the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL, with their first pick of the 2002 NHL entry Draft. Jiri spent the last half of his teenage years playing five seasons with the Superliga and even a short appearance in the RSL, a predecesor of todays KHL in Russia, with the Kazan AK Bars.
Jiri Hudler made his North American Pro debut with the Red Wings in 03-04, playing just 12 games a goal and two assists, before spending three more years seasoning in the Grand Rapids Griffins AHL pool. During Detroits 2006-07 campaign Jiri enjoyed a breakthrough season, scoring 25 points in 76 games of extremely limited ice time. For his efforts he was awarded Team Rookie of the YEar, and notably, no one in the NHL scored more points in less icetime than the Czech phenom in his first full year in the NHL. The following year he would add 'clutch' to his list of talent descriptions. Jiri scored 5 goals and 9 assists in 22 games as the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2008. In 2009 Jiri's wings again made it to the cup final, this time losing to the Penguins while Mr. Hudler added 4 more goals and 8 assists to his playoff stats.
After a sordid contract snafu at his RFA summer, Jiri departed for Moscow, playing with the Dynamo for 5million a year, while a contested contract in Detroit was fought hard by both sides. After one season in Russia, Jiri Hudler returned to the Wings, playing for less than 3m, the same contract dollars his agent accepted on his behalf leading to the legal battle a year earlier.
This past season, the highly touted 28 year old scored an even 25 goals and 25 assists playing in 81 games for Detroit, a personal best in goal scoring in the NHL. He was quickly signed to a 4 year deal in Calgary where he is anticipated to play not only more minutes, but more special teams minutes in their top six, GM Jay Feaster hinted that Jiri Hudler may in fact get top line time with the resident star Jerome Iginla in both 5 on 5 situations and the Power Play.
This news is very exciting to the New York Rangers of the CDCGML, and we wish Jiri all the best this coming season, he has paid his dues in several pro leagues in his young life, and spent a lot of time deep in the Red Wings system, where he did not meet his full ice time potential, and this has GM Primal Optimist, if it is at all possible, even MORE optimistic about the man's future, not only is he in his perfect prime, but he seems primed for a perfect opportunity in his new role.
Jiri Hudler, Rangers Top Line Right Winger, jersey's on sale at the team store now, 10% discount with coupon code 'Czech Mate'.
Edited by Primal Optimist, 26 July 2012 - 11:05 AM.