Will Detroit cut ties with Hudler?

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Over at the Detroit Free Press, Helene St. James examines Jiri Hudler’s future in Detroit.

Specifically, does he have one?

Hulder is one of the question marks in a Detroit offseason full of ’em. At first glance, it seems like bringing him back is a no-brainer — he finished second on the Wings with 25 goals last season and is only 28 years old.

But, as St. James writes, he’s not exactly a multi-faceted player.

Hudler can score, but what else does he bring? He’s not a great skater. He’s not great in his own zone. He definitely benefited from playing this season with Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula, two of the game’s best two-way centers.

In fairness to Hudler, he also earned the right to play with Zetterberg and Filppula by being consistent offensively.

Hulder’s future in Detroit is tied to the direction Wings GM Ken Holland will take. For years Detroit has been a steadying, constant presence, rarely overturning the roster, relying on familiar faces. But that could all change following an opening round playoff flameout and the prospect of big free agent signings (Ryan Suter, Zach Parise) on the horizon.

If Holland chooses to breathe fresh air into the group, will it whisk Hulder out?

The X-Factor, as it usually is, will be money. Hudler played the last two seasons on a two-year, $5.75 million RFA deal (awkwardly agreed to after he bailed on the Wings for the KHL, then returned.) The truth of the matter is he might be more valuable to an offensively-challenged team than he is to Detroit and, ergo, able to score big bucks on the open market.

For the final analysis, we’ll turn it back to St. James.

“He has given [the Wings] several good years,” she writes. “But I’d be surprised if the relationship continues.”

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin
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The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.


Detroit places Datsyuk and three others on I.R.

Pavel Datsyuk,
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The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.

Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.

The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.

Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.

DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.

The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.

Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.

Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.

As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.

“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”