With a third NHL lockout in 17 years on the horizon, it hasn’t stopped the Detroit Red Wings from making transactions. Justin Abdelkader will remain a member of the Red Wings organization for the next four years as he signed a $7.2 million deal with the NHL team earlier today.
It was the team’s second signing of the day. Earlier, the Red Wings signed defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year deal.
Last season with the Red Wings, Abdelkader posted career highs by scoring eight goals with 14 assists and 62 penalty minutes in 81 games. Abdelkader finished second behind Brad Stuart with 148 hits. In 209 NHL career games, all wearing the winged wheel, Abdelkader scored 18 goals and 29 assists with 160 penalty minutes.
Abdelkader has been a part of the Red Wings since he was drafted in the second round, 42nd overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Before inking his first contract with the Red Wings, Abdelkader spent three seasons with the Michigan State Spartans’ hockey program.
The native of Muskegon, Michigan will continue to provide some grit as well as contribute to the PK unit. At 25, Abdelkader is still young and will look to improve his numbers as well as his game. He’s not afraid to drop the gloves either. With Jordin Tootoo on board and possibly playing alongside Abdelkader on the fourth line, it could bring out the best of not only Tootoo, but Abdelkader as well.
With Abdelkader signed, the Red Wings have 16 forwards under contract for the upcoming (or should I say soon-to-be delayed 2012-13 season), there will be 14 spots up for grabs. It should be an interesting Training Camp……whenever that will be.
About the Author: Alex lives in Hockeytown, USA. He is a huge Red Wings fan going back to the 1985-86 season when they were dead last with 40 points. He has seen the transition from the 'Dead Wings' to one of the top franchises in sports. You can also follow him at twitter.com/alexmuscat73.