I TOLD YOU IT WASN'T OVER!

Jiri! Jiri! When will we be allowed to move on?!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Just when we, as Wings fans, were making peace with the Jiri Hudler fiasco and departure (and moving on to full-blown hatred for Jason Williams / Todd Bertuzzi), The Scuttles Saga rears its ugly head once more.

Yesterday, David Staples of the Cult of Hockey passed along this little nugget – from Peter Adler, who is apparently a Euro hockey “expert,” regarding our dear departed midget:

The International Ice Hockey Federation is refusing to grant Jiri Hudler his transfer card, which means he is not allowed to practice or play for his new team, Moscow Dynamo, reports Sovietski Sport.
Without this card, Hudler can’t play in any IIHF-sanctioned game. The Russian league is under the domain of the IIHF, hence Hudler’s current problem.

At the risk of sounding like the Slap Chop guy…But wait! There’s more! Obviously, with the Wings signing Patrick Eaves, Jason Williams, and Todd Bertuzzi, it was assumed that we’d be without the services of Hudler, and – as the article goes on to say – that was just fine by the Red Wings.

The IIHF’s stance is baffling to Alexander Medvedev, chief of the KHL, because both the Detroit Red Wings, Hudler’s NHL team, and the Czech federation have given permission to Hudler to play for Dynamo, according to Medvedev.

So, as Kyle at Babcock’s Death Stare goes into, there will be quite the cap crunch should Jiri Hudler be forced to play for the Red Wings in 2009-10. They’re already slightly over the cap (thanks, Todd!), but crisis may be averted if Lilja’s gone for an extended period of time. If Hudler’s contract comes back onto the books, there’s a big, big problem.
Granted, the following information hasn’t been confirmed by a quote-unquote reputable source, but knowing how the KHL operates, it wouldn’t surprise me. From @rushockey, via Twitter:
KHL President Medvedev: KHL will allow Hudler to play transfer card or not.
I mean… it’s not TSN, but it does sound an awful lot like something the KHL and Mr. Medvedev would do, does it not?

So, perhaps we’re
out of the woods once again… if Hudler is to play in the NHL next season, what do the Wings do? Attempt to trade him? Attempt to waive/trade another veteran of the team (the interweb’s favorite choices seem to be Maltby and Holmstrom)? I’ll address the numbers when it becomes apparent he’s coming back, but for now – I’ll trust Ken Holland’s “he’s playing in Russia – end of story” declaration.
Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio, AP