Oh, what a long, strange journey this has been.
Very early this morning, it was learned that Jiri Hudler’s agent and Ken Holland agreed to a 2-year, $5.75M contract, keeping Holland’s arbitration-avoiding streak alive and well – but not really.
A gentleman’s agreement had been made between Hudler’s agent and Ken Holland, but Hudler wanted to go to arbitration anyway, so as to not jeopardize his contract with Moscow.
In a Google-translated article from Blesk in the Czech Republic, Jiri says that his agent more or less pulled the trigger on a deal for LESS than was originally offered by the Wings – and that Holland wished him well in the KHL:
He waited, to confess. But this is my overseas agent Petr Svoboda agreed with the team. And to be exact, the two parties have agreed before arbitration, so he did not actually ask [for more money]. Ken Holland just sent me a text how it turned out. Wished me, whether I am in Moscow and a good season and I will return to the NHL, and wants to make it in Detroit.
Did anyone else see Everything is Illuminated? That reads like Alex wrote it — with the help of Sammy Davis Junior Junior The Seeing Eye Bitch.
Back to business: it appears that offers of 3, 4, and 5 years worth $3M per were turned down, to agree to a shorter-term and less money? Interesting tactic, Svoboda.
To clarify, Jiri Hudler IS still going to play with Dynamo of the KHL. If and when he returns to North America, he will be bound by the terms of this agreement – two years at a very reasonable $2.875M per (which is considerably less than almost anyone – myself included) thought he’d get if the parties went to traditional arbitration.
I’d also like to point out that our recent article regarding Sportsnet’s Epic Fail somehow became MORE Epic and Faily with this news. About half of the statements of that article are incorrect:
Jiri Hudler is staying in Detroit (FALSE) rather than heading to Russia (FALSE). The Czech forward (TRUE) was awarded (FALSE-ISH) a two-year deal (TRUE) worth over US$5 million (VAGUE, BUT TRUE) on Friday (FALSE)
I’m going to go ahead and guess that they got lucky declaring Hudler a Czech.