|Born||January 4, 1984 |
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)|
|Position||Left Wing/Right Wing|
Ak Bars Kazan
Detroit Red Wings
|National team||Czech Republic|
|NHL Draft||58th overall, 2002|
Detroit Red Wings
Jiri Hudler (born on January 4, 1984) is a Czech professional ice hockey player and alternate captain for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL).
After beginning his career in the Czech Extraliga with HC Vsetín, he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and won the Stanley Cup with the club in 2008.
Jiri also played for Dynamo Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for one season before the team was merged to form UHC Dynamo.
Jiri spent his youth in the elite Czech Extraliga with HC Vsetín, beginning in the 1999–2000 season.
After recording a point-per-game season with the club in 2001–02, Jiri was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings with their first pick in the second round (58th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
He remained in the Extraliga the following season, including a brief stint with Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Superleague (RSL), before moving to North America for the 2003–04 season.
Although he competed in 12 games for the Red Wings that season, he played the majority of the campaign with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL), Detroit's top minor league affiliate, scoring 49 points in 57 games in his rookie AHL season.
Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Jiri remained in the AHL the following season while also returning to play with Vsetín for seven games. Although NHL play resumed in 2005–06, he played his third season with the Griffins, breaking out with 36 goals and 96 points in 76 games to be named to the AHL Second All-Star Team. His 60 assists established a single-season Griffins team-record.
Jiri finally broke through onto the Red Wings roster in 2006–07 and scored 25 points in 76 games to be chosen team rookie of the year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
No one in the NHL scored more goals in fewer average minutes per game (10:02) than Jiri. He played sporadically in the 2007 playoffs, however, often splitting time with Kyle Calder. He chipped in two assists in six games.
Former Wings teammate and fellow Czech Robert Lang took Jiri under his wing when Hudler joined the team. He spent time living in Lang's home when he first arrived in the United States and Lang even went so far as to call Jiri "a third son."
Following his rookie NHL season, he spent time during the off-season training with fellow NHLers Chris Chelios, Mathieu Schneider and Rob Blake in Southern California. As a result, he said that he felt faster and stronger.
Playing in his second full season with the Red Wings, Jiri improved to 42 points. On June 4, 2008, he won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Red Wings, scoring five goals and adding nine assists during Detroit's successful playoff run, including the game-winning goal in Game 4 of the Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jiri continued to improve in 2008–09, notching 23 goals and 57 points, however, facing the Penguins once again in the Finals, he and the Red Wings failed to defend their championship, losing in seven games.
Becoming a restricted free agent in the off-season, Jiri filed for arbitration with the Red Wings, however, soon thereafter, he signed a contract with Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for $10 million over two years on July 8, 2009 while his arbitration case with the Red Wings was later settled at $5.75 million over the same term.
In response to Jiri's signing with Dynamo Moscow, USA Hockey filed an appeal to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that Hudler was still under contract with the Red Wings.
Pending the IIHF's investigation, he was not granted a transfer card which would have either prevented him from playing in the KHL or caused the league sanctions.
The IIHF later approved Jiri's KHL contract on September 9, 2009, revealing that although his agent had filed for the arbitration case on his client's behalf, Jiri had not actually signed for the case himself, deeming the arbitration case invalid. Furthermore, the IIHF ruled that USA Hockey had failed to submit their appeal within the stipulated deadlines.
After one season with Dynamo Moscow, Jiri was released by the team on April 18, 2010, just four days before Dynamo was merged into UHC Dynamo.
Eight days later, he returned to the same Red Wings team he had left following his 2009 arbitration case, for two years at $2.875 million, the same contract he would have received in arbitration in 2009. In spite of reaching a settlement with the team, Jiri was ineligible to return for the 2010 playoffs, as he was not an active roster player before the NHL trade deadline. He would return for the 2010-11 season.
On July 2, 2012, Jiri signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Calgary Flames. The contract will pay him $4 million per year. In the 2014–15 season, he had NHL career-highs in points, scoring 76 points in 78 games, helping the Flames reach the playoffs for the first time in six years.
He was also nominated & won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in June of 2015.
Awards & Achievements
- 2005–06: AHL Second All-Star Team
- 2005–06: AHL Grand Rapids Griffins team record with 60 assists.
- 2006–07: Named "Detroit Red Wings Rookie of the Year" by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
- 2007–08: NHL Stanley Cup (Detroit Red Wings)
- 2014–15: Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Regular season and playoffs
|2002–03||Ak Bars Kazan||RSL||11||1||5||6||12||1||0||0||0||0|
|2003–04||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||12||1||2||3||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||57||17||32||49||46||4||1||5||6||2|
|2004–05||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||52||12||22||34||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||76||36||60||96||56||16||6||16||22||20|
|2005–06||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||4||0||0||0||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||76||15||10||25||36||6||0||2||2||4|
|2007–08||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||81||13||29||42||26||22||5||9||14||14|
|2008–09||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||82||23||34||57||16||23||4||8||12||6|
|2009–10||HC Dynamo Moscow||KHL||54||19||35||54||18||4||0||1||1||4|
|2010–11||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||73||10||27||37||28||4||1||2||3||0|
|2011–12||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||81||25||25||50||42||5||2||0||2||4|
|Competitor for Czech Republic|
|Men's ice hockey|
|World U18 Championships|
Jiri has participated in nine international tournaments for the Czech Republic:
- 2000 World U-17 Hockey Challenge
- 2000 World U18 Championships
- 2002 World U18 Championships
- 2002 World Junior Championships
- 2003 World Junior Championships
- 2003 World Championships
- 2004 World Junior Championships
- 2013 World Championships
- 2014 World Championships