Arbitrator awards KHL-bound Hudler 2-year deal with Wings
An arbitrator awarded Jiri Hudler a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday should the Russian forward decide to return to the NHL.
The deal is worth $5.75 million US, according to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.
Hudler recently signed a two-year deal worth $10 million with Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. He'll suit up for the team next season.
The agreement means that Detroit keeps its right to Hudler should he come back to the fold, something that Holland hopes will happen when his new KHL contract ends.
"My hope is that he goes to Russia and he wants to come back and he's a better player," Holland said Thursday. "The cap maybe goes up a little bit, and we're sitting at a real good situation."
The new deal more than quadruples Hudler's 2008-09 salary.
The 25-year-old earned $1.15 million with the Wings last season when he notched 57 points (23 goals) in the final year of his contract. The Czech reportedly turned down Detroit's offer of $3 million per year for up to five years, and the two sides opted for salary arbitration.
Hudler's signing is part of an ongoing battle between the NHL and KHL over player poaching. The NHL has transfer agreements in place with other professional leagues, but no such deal exists with the KHL.
With files from The Associated Press