Detroit Red Wings DetroitRedWings.com presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Hudler's motivated to face former 'mates

Former Wings' forward returns to JLA with the Flames

Tuesday, 02.5.2013 / 3:10 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Hudler\'s motivated to face former \'mates

On Tuesday, Calgary forward Jiri Hudler returned to Joe Louis Arena for the first time as a visiting player. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – It’s been a tumultuous first month of the season for former Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler, who skated this morning at Joe Louis Arena for the first time as a visiting player with the Calgary Flames.

Hudler, who signed a four-year, $16 million free agent contact with the Flames during the off-season, missed training camp and the first three games of the season following the death of his father. Jiri Hudler, Sr. was just 50-years-old when he died on Jan. 14.

“It’s been tough, but (hockey) obviously helps a lot, being around the guys, talking to the guys, to my teammates, my ex-teammates, and just thinking about hockey,” said Hudler, who played seven seasons with the Wings. “The schedule is so tight you have no time to think about other things.”

That’s certainly not the case as it pertains to tonight’s game, as Hudler prepares for his first NHL game against his former Wings’ teammates.

“I don’t want to be over-motivated,” he said. “Those are my friends, my ex-teammates, but at the same time … I don’t want to lose against them. We need these points, too. We’re in a critical situation. To play in this building, it’s tough. They’ve got a lot of talent, a lot of skill.”

Hudler used Tuesday morning to meet with several of his former teammates, including Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Cleary, who have maintained a friendship and consoled the Czech star recently.

“His dad passed away and Bert and I had been in pretty good contact with him,” Cleary said. “We were probably the closest with him. He misses the guys here, but he says he’s having fun. He’s playing a lot more in Calgary than he did here and he likes that. And that’s probably one of the biggest reasons why he left.”

Despite playing in just three games this season, Hudler has been a pleasant addition to the Flames, collecting two goals and three assists. The 5-foot-10 dynamo isn’t afraid to go to the hard areas, including the front of the net, which he did a lot in a Wings’ uniform. Last season, Hudler produced a career-best 25 goals.

“He’s so creative, his passing, his vision around the net,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “He’s very gifted. He has that quick release that can surprise many goalies but at the same time he was raised in a great organization and you can tell. His on-ice habits are very good. I think that’s going to be a great example to our young players.”

Despite his penchant for crashing the net-front, the Wings know that Hudler is far from being one-dimensional.

“He’s a good passer as well,” Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said. “That’s an underestimated part of his game how well he finds guys out there. We’ll have to be aware of that when the puck’s on his stick and find the guys in the soft spot.”

Niklas Kronwall said Hudler’s speed and size can present problems in the defensive zone.

“It's hard because you can’t really get a hold of him, especially now the way the game is being called,” Kronwall said. “At the same, if we can eliminate most of his space right away we can get support from other players, make it tough on him that way.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map