I'm not usually one to steal ideas from other people but I really liked the idea of Brad Boyes. As NOHS posted, Boyes makes $4M so if we were to swap him for Hudler, Buffalo who is over the cap would save $1.125M. They could save even more if Detroit was to eat some of Hudler contract (which with our cap space we could do). More after the jump!
Boyes has taken a step back in points the past two seasons so he's probably past his peak, but at 29 he still has plenty of time left in his legs. While I don't think he's worth the $4M, I do think he's valuable in the $3-3.5M range. He's played 82 games in each of the last 4 seasons on some pretty bad St Louis teams where he was option #1 or 1A. With the Wings, he could be option #3 or 4 at best. I think being a secondary option will extend his playing time and make him a definite threat in the post season. He doesn't take many penalties, scores well on the PP, and is a right handed shot (something we could use, especially on the PP). He doesn't kill penalties, isn't a sniper, and isn't known as an outstanding defending forward, but he's also not known as a liability. From my knowledge of him, he plays his position well and with skill in his own zone, but often is quick on the breakout for stretch pass.
While Boyes isn't a big body, he is 6'-195 which is a considerably larger than Hudler so he's not as likely to get smothered by defensemen while adding another large winger to provide some decent hits.
I think that with Boyes on board our lines would look something like this:
Franzen - Datsyuk - Cleary
Boyes - Zetterberg - Bertuzzi
Abdelkader - Filppula - Eaves
Miller - Helm - Holmstrom
Lidstrom - Stuart
Kronwall - White
Commodore - Ericsson
This lineup is quite different from what has been talked about for a while of moving Zetterberg back to the top line with Datsyuk. But I believe this lineup makes us stronger up the middle. Also note, that Holmstrom's role on the 4th line isn't actually with that line. Holmstrom will be limited in shifts and play often on the PP, so to keep his legs fresh for the full season, he will be listed as 4th line, but actually only play on PP and with the top. Datsyuk, Eaves, and Abdelkader will double shift with Helm and Miller for the actual 4th line. It's also easy to rotate the top two lines to move Zetterberg up and Franzen down. Doing so moves Bertuzzi down, Filppula up, and Abdelkader to the middle. By moving Bertuzzi down to the 3rd line for games here and there during the season, you can limit his shifts and save his legs for the post season as well.
All in all, adding Boyes to the mix allows Babcock to run multiple lines and sets dependent upon the team we're facing. I know Zetterberg has been outspoken of wanting to 'play our game' no matter who we're facing, but I think that Detroit needs to have multiple options available if they're going to keep guys like Bertuzzi and Holmstrom in the lineup and have them fresh for the post season. We might have to offer more than just Hudler and some cash, but if we have to give up more it definitely won't be a top draft pick or prospect. So let's go Kenny! Get it done already!