Flames’ Hudler signs in Czech league, debuts hours later, scores twice

Talk about making a first impression.

Just hours after signing a lockout deal with HC Trinec of the Czech Extraliga, Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler scored two goals in a 6-4 win over Chomutov on Wednesday.

It’s an impressive return to form for Hudler. In October, he signed with KHL Lev Praha, only to see an abdominal muscle injury derail his campaign after just four games played.

Lev either cut Hudler or he asked to be freed from his contract so he could rest/recuperate and be ready for the start of the NHL season. Regardless, he’s back now.

On that note, it should be mentioned Hudler is still a member of the Flames in contract only. The 28-year-old inked a four-year, $16 million deal with Calgary this past summer but, because of the lockout, has yet to play a game for his new team.

Prior to signing with Calgary, Hudler had spent his entire NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings — save a one-year sojourn to the KHL to play for Dynamo Moscow.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.