Flames sign Jiri Hudler for four years, $16M

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While the rest of the league waits for the Zach Parise/Ryan Suter dominoes to fall, the Calgary Flames seem content to march to the beat of their own drum. That tune apparently amounts to spending surprising amounts of money; Darren Dreger reports that the Flames scooped up hot-and-cold forward Jiri Hudler with a four-year, $16 million contract.

This adds another layer of risk on what is clearly not a rebuild in Calgary. GM Jay Feaster acquired Dennis Wideman for big money and re-upped Blake Comeau, Lee Stempniak and Cory Sarich (among other anti-white flag moves). The Flames now have about $4.26 million in cap space remaining, according to Cap Geek.

Will Hudler live up to his $4 million cap hit? That’s a tough question.

On one hand, he has the talent that left the Detroit Red Wings clamoring during his one-year exodus overseas. When things come together, he can be a dangerous talent. He has two 20-plus goal campaigns to his credit (including 25 goals and 50 points last season).

That being said, he’s frequently described as “frustrating,” which isn’t exactly promising for a Flames team that often doesn’t play to the level of its paychecks. Considering the term and money involved, this is a situation that could go negative – fast.

What do you think, though? Is this a big move for a Flames team that needs a more diverse offensive attack or a risky deal that is likely to blow up in Calgary’s face?