Numbers with Flames only
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After his career year in 2014-15 with 76 points, big things were expected from Jiri Hudler this season. The line of Hudler/Monahan/Guadreau should have been dominant and helped push the Flames back into the playoffs. It didn't quite work out that way. Hudler struggled from the start and his game really didn't pick up until right before his trade to Florida. For some reason Jiri Hudler couldn't get any traction and even found himself dropped down to the 3rd line in an effort to get other players time up top and even settle his game down. He reeled off 11 points in the month before he was traded to the Panthers for their stretch run. Hudler was most likely going to be traded, regardless of his stats due to his contract expiring at the end of the season. Hudler had a solid stint with the Flames, but his last half season was nothing to write home about. D
Jiri Hudler had a good season with the Flames. His points per game was slightly down from last season, but that was a typical trend of almost every player on the team this season. There was no doubt the line of Gaudreau, Monahan and Hudler was underperforming compared to last season which is why the Flames felt they needed to make a move while Hudler still had some worth. Hudler's numbers did pick up a bit before the trade deadline, as do most player's in the trade rumour mill. I think overall Hudler had a pretty good season so I am giving him a C grade.
Last year, Jiri Hudler had the best season of his NHL career by far. Instead of just being a useful complementary player like he had been throughout his career, he was the go to guy on the Flames and was dominant in the offensive zone. Regression was expected due to a strong shooting percentage, but Hudler's play significantly dropped this year. He just did not look the same, he seemed like he was running on a lower frequency than last season. Not sure if it was injury, age or motivation issues, but whatever the situation was, Hudler was nothing close to the player we saw last year. That is not to say he did not contribute at all, he did post 31 points in 53 games, but instead of helping Monahan and Gaudreau drive play, it was more like they were helping him this year. Have to love Hudler for what he did for this team during this transition period, but unfortunately I have to give this past season by him a C-.
Jiri Hudler had a pretty average season for the Flames. While 8-16-24 Even Strength points over 53 games is nothing to sneeze at he was also given some of the easiest zonestarts on the team (+27.8% ZSRel) and he did just OK with them Corsi wise (+1.6% CFRel). Defensively, he gave up some quality scoring chances, just like everyone else on the Flames, but hey, he was there to score, and obviously he did that. If I had to judge his season based on even strength alone, he would have gotten an easy C. The problem with a guy like Hudler, who is there to score and not much else, is that he could hardly do it at all on the power play. Averaging 3 minutes per game on the man advantage all Hudler could string together was a measly 1-7-8 stat line. In fact, when comparing P/60 of the entire team on the power play Hudler comes in at 9th out of the 12 players that played a minimum of 50 powerplay minutes while having the 4th highest average PP ice time per game. When a player is counted on to score, is given first unit PP time, and a lot of it at that, and spectactularly fails to do so while his cohorts rack up the points (Gio, Monny, and Johnny all outscored him per 60 minutes of ice time. By a lot.) I have no choice but to knock his grade down a bit to reflect that.
Luckily for anybody looking to sign Hudler as a free agent this offseason, he regressed back to himself and therefore can't ask for nearly as much money. The downside is that his regression back to his norm happened with the Flames and stripped Calgary of over 16 points that he would've had through 53 games last season. In 15-16 he had 35 points in 53 games for Calgary, at his pace last year he would've had 51.6 points in that timeframe. While 16 points doesn't seem like much, that's 16 more goals the Flames could've had and perhaps led to 5 or more wins that the Flames didn't get. Those 10 extra points would've tied Calgary for the final playoff spot but it wasn't to be. I can't really blame Hudler for regressing to his norm, as it is his norm, but it wasn't what I was expecting after the Hudreaunahan line tore it up in '14-15. Hudler was back to average, and that's why he gets a very average C.
Hudler may not have taken the biggest step backwards last year, but his decline was pretty noticeable. While last year he was a power play producer, a heavy producer at even strength and an okay possession player, this year all of that took a hit. He produced at near second line ability with fourth line possession, but a positive penalty differential to offset that. That's about all that needs to be said as he's no longer a Flame.