“He’s a determined guy and he’s got a real skill set in that area,’’ Babcock said. “He’s good with the puck, not a great skater, not pretty to watch. He creates space for people ... It doesn’t matter what they do to him, he’s going to go back there (net front). He can tip the puck, he can score and he can go get the puck back. There’s lots of guys that go to the net front, they just don’t do anything when they’re there.’’
if Hudler maintains this 70 pt pace for the final 15-20 games of the season and finishes with 50+ points still, while I'll be extremely happy that he finally started playing the way I thought he was going to at the beginning of the season, I think Holland has to visit the idea of moving him on draft day.
Sure at his current cap hit he has value to our team next season if he puts up the same 70 pts, but at the same time we will likely lose him as a UFA as his value will rocket to an amount I would hope Holland would not agree to spending on him, while he has looked awesome playing with Datsyuk, Hudler is not the type of player that can carry a top 2 line on his own due to his size and speed limitations.
If a team out east would be willing to take Hudler and our 1st in exchange for their 1st and a chance for us to move up in the draft, it is something I would hope Holland would consider. Maybe Holland though tries to extend him at the same cap hit if he can in the summer if Hudler does still end up hitting 50 pts. As long as he continues to play the way he is now I'd also be ok with that.
Hudler is scoring at about 65-70 point recently, right? If we lost him, would it be a giant blow to the team?
Sounds like a perfectly agreeable opinion. But the only reason that's true is because we're not used to having him around at this level. We did fine without him last season and the first half of this one, so we could lose him and probably not even notice.
If Happy is scoring 70 points a year for the next 2 or 3, it's going to be an entirely different story. Of course he's still going to be replaceable, but you're not going to stick the new Jan Mursak in his spot and not notice the difference.
There's a difference between being replaceable and being "no big deal".