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As I said last off season, Jiri Hudler could be the difference maker in the Wings winning a cup. Why would anyone be wrong in saying that?
He is young, talented and was improving yearly. He had raised his point totals by 22 in just two years! He produced 57 points at only 26 years of age in the 2008-2009 season. With the return of Hudler from Russia, expectations were obviously high.
He stunk. No way around it.
He was inconsistent the entire year and only produced 37 points. He failed to live up to all expectations and even was invisible in the playoffs. With the Hudler we all knew and expected, the Wings would've beaten the Sharks in the playoffs. Instead, we get the other Jiri Hudler. And in all of those tight battles with San Jose, secondary scoring was gone. We needed it. We needed him, and he didn't deliver.
So what now? Do we trade him? Give him another shot?
What about Franzen or Filppula (Both are much less of an issue than Jiri Hudler.)? These two seem to be amazing at times, but are inconsistent, always injured and are both aging. Do we cash them in for some good young talent before their value is diminished? I'd say keep them at least another year, but I've heard good arguments both ways.
Johan Franzen is Mr. Postseason, and has 40+ goal potential when he is healthy. But his health, like for many Red Wings, has been the killer. He also had several lengthy goal droughts this season. His health is a reoccurring issue just as his inconsistent play is.
Filppula has shows waves of excellence. He has even looked Datsyukian at times. But these instances are few. He again this season failed to even play in 60 games, and at times was very non productive and unreliable.
I'm not sure where I stand on all of this. But I have faith in the best GM in the NHL. Thank God for Ken Holland!