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Hudler happy to be back

Veteran glad to be in Wings' fold after year in Russia

Monday, 09.13.2010 / 12:54 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Hudler happy to be back
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DETROIT – After a year in Russia, Jiri Hudler was excited Monday to be back amongst his Red Wings’ teammates.

Hudler skated with the Red Wings in an informal practice at Joe Louis Arena for the first time since he made the decision to defect to the Kontinental Hockey League’s Moscow Dynamo.

“It’s seems like I never left,” he said.

Hudler signed a two-year contract with the Dynamo. But the team folded after last season, paving the way for veteran forward’s return to Detroit where he had played three full seasons and won a Stanley Cup.

“It feels great and I’m thrilled to be back,” Hudler said. “I missed this locker room. I missed the city, my friends.”

While playing in Russia was a learning experience – the Czechoslovakian learned to speak Russian – it wasn’t the same as playing in the NHL.

The KHL plays a 54-game schedule, compared to 82 in the NHL. Hudler finished the KHL season with 19 goals and 34 assists, and Wings coach Mike Babcock has been on record as saying he expects more like 70 points out of his returning forward who will likely skate on the Wings’ third line with center Mike Modano and forward Dan Cleary.

“I don’t mind pressure,” said Hudler, who scored 52 goals in 255 NHL games with the Wings. “It’s a pretty big number, but you just have to be focused. You have to produce, but we’ll see.”

Hudler, who spent the off-season in California working out with famed fitness trainer T.R. Goodman, said he feels rejuvenated and ready to get the season underway.

“I lifted more weights this year and T.R. thought it would be good for me,” Hudler said. “I’ve been skating in California, but it’s not the same as doing it in a game.”

The decision to return to the Red Wings, where he has a contract in place through the 2011-12 season, was easy, Hudler said.

“We ended in losing in the first round (of the playoffs) in Russia, and you just wanted to take a break,” Hudler said. “I wanted to go back and be a part of this team, this city and this community. I made the decision right away.”

Hudler’s decision to come back to Detroit was made sweeter when he learned that he would have the opportunity to play with Modano, one of the NHL’s all-time greats.

“He’s one of the best ever,” Hudler said. “It was a huge move for us to get him in this line-up. He can play all the situations, power-play, he can be in the back, he can be in the front. It’s just great to have him around. Obviously, he came here for reasons. He wants to be a part of a winning team, too. So he’ll fit right in.”



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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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