ST. LOUIS MO - JANUARY 20: Jiri Hudler #26 and Todd Bertuzzi #44 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates Bertuzzi's goal against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on January 20 2011 in St. Louis Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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In a move I think people may have hoped for but didn't necessarily expect, the Calgary Flames announced this afternoon that they have signed Czech forward and former Detroit Red Wing Jiri Hudler to a four-year contract averaging $4M per year.
Hudler was drafted in the second round 58th overall by the Wings back in 2002 and has amassed a total of 87 goals and 214 points in 409 NHL games. He played the 2009-10 season in Russia for the Moscow Dynamo of the KHL, where he scored 19 goals and 54 points in 54 games.
Hudler had an average cap hit of $2.875M prior to joining the Flames, so the 2011-12 25-goal scorer has earned himself quite a significant raise on the second day of free agency. The Flames have been big spenders thus far up to and including yesterday's Free Agency Frenzy, and currently have the second highest payroll in the league just behind the Boston Bruins, with just over $4.25M remaining in cap space.