"in detroit there wasn't place for me"
i think hudler believes he is a superstar who was never given a chance to show what he can do in all his years with the red wings organization.for some it is hard to play so little and not contribute more to your team's success. detroit has always had a stocked roster so it was always difficult for a young guy to establish himself which is great motivation for a young player to work harder but there comes a point if opportunity isn't presented this process could be detrimental to the devlopment of the player. he needs experience in important situations and confidence that comes from both the experience and the bigger roll itself.
hudler dominated the czeck elite league as a 17 yr. old. no other czeck has ever been nearly as successful at such a young age. even in his breakout year with the griffins when he scored 96 pts. (3rd in the league) and 22 in 16 playoff games, he often played on the 4th line. because of his size and lack of blazing speed he will never be a great defensive forward but he has great vision amazing hockey sense and magic hands.
increase or decrease of a players ice time usually results in a much higher percentage of increase or decrease of production. hudler scored 57 pts playing over 13 minutes a night. if he were to play 20 minutes a night which is less than most top players for their teams play and score at the same pace he would have had 86 points which would have put him among the league leaders. and that is not factoring in the he would have been a better player with the confidence and experience that goes along with the bigger role.
after nearly 2 decades of oversized goalie equipment and overlooked rules coaches have placed strict emphasis on defence in order to win. i think if they decreased goalie equipment to as big is it was in 80's, there would be more net to score on and coaches would begin to employ more offensive strategies. i am quite confident that players would gladly give up composite sticks if goalies reduced the size of their equipment. i think a game in which a player like hudler can showcase his artistry would be more entertainig to watch than a league in which most of the goals are what used to be known as "garbage goals".
i believe that a good offense makes for a great defense. if your team has the puck the other team can't score (unless you have mccabe on your team).
i don't think anyone is to blame for hudler perhaps not reaching his potential. you can't blame babcock. with the proven talent detroit has it is difficult for any young guy to breakthrough and get a lot of ice time. you can't blame holland his job is to win the cup. in these days of the salary cap you can never refuse a player that wants to play for your team for under market value-unless you don't have room to fit him under your cap of course. you can't blame hudler. for the amount of ice time he had he produced remarkably well and as a skilled offensive player that is what he is there to do.
he may well have been a superstar. he would have finally had an opportunity this year.