According to Ansar Khan of MLive.com, the Detroit Red Wings are ready to bring back impending UFA forward Jiri Hudler.
The question, though, is if Hudler wants to come back.
“We’re prepared to offer him a contract,” Wings GM Ken Holland said. “He’s got the right to go to free agency. We’ll see what happens. Right now Jiri will continue taking time to determine what he wants to do.”
Khan suggests Detroit “isn’t apt” to pay Hudler more than what its paying Johan Franzen ($3.95 annual cap hit) or what it plans to give Valtteri Filppula (who’s deal expires in 2013) — and that could be an issue given what Colorado GM Greg Sherman gave impeding UFA forward David Jones last week.
Jones, 27, parlayed back-to-back 20-goal seasons into a four-year, $16 million deal…a pretty hefty contract for a guy that was a healthy scratch in February.
(It’s unclear if this set the market for UFA forwards or not. The Sherminator tends to march to the beat of his own drummer when assessing player value.)
Based on that Jones deal, Hudler could go to market with an even bigger contract in mind. He’s coming off a 25-goal, 50-point season with the Wings and given the dearth of free agent forwards, could cash in with a team looking for offense.