Calgary Flames now have 2nd highest payroll in NHL after Jiri Hudler signing

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

Jiri Hudler's agent Petr Svoboda counted the ways his client loved thee, Red Wings: "Jiri loves Detroit. Jiri loves the organization, the city, his teammates." Alas, parting is such sweet sorrow … but $16 million certainly provides some solace.

Hudler, 28, left the Wings for the Calgary Flames on Monday, as the free agent center inked a 4-year, $16 million deal according to Darren Dreger of TSN.

He had 25 goals and 25 assists last season, making $2.875 million against the cap. The $4 million annual wage was the expected rate for Hudler, according to the Detroit News.

That said … the Calgary Flames currently have the second highest payroll in the NHL, according to Cap Geek.

As in, the highest playroll behind only the Boston Bruins, who had to spend a little dough keeping together a team that won the Stanley Cup two years ago.

They have 12 forwards under contract, not including Mikael Backlund or Akim Aliu (both RFAs) or Sven Baertschi, who showed a ton of promise during an NHL cameo last season. They have 10 players on their roster making more than $3.5 million; the Los Angeles Kings, by comparison, have seven.

It takes a special kind of mismanagement to put together a roster this rich and ineffective. Obviously, there are still some pieces that could move — Jay Bouwmeester's $6.68 million cap hit being the most prominent option for removal — but that's still $65,943,332 for a win-now team that isn't good enough to win, now.

Don't confuse the sins of the past as a criticism of the Hudler deal. They didn't overpay for him in money or in term based on the market -- it's David Jones's contract with the Avalanche -- and he can be an effective offensive player despite being undersized. If nothing else, he'll go to the net hard; and the Flames could use a few more pucks in said net.