Red Wings to buy out Justin Abdelkader

33-year-old forward drafted by Detroit in 2005

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 08: Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Anaheim Ducks at Little Caesars Arena on October 08, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) (Gregory Shamus, 2019 Getty Images)

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings announced Tuesday forward Justin Abdelkader has been placed on waivers for the purpose of a buyout.

Abdelkader, 33, has been with the Red Wings since 2008. He was drafted 42nd overall by Detroit in 2005. He is in the 5th year of a 7-year contract he signed with the Red Wings in 2015. CapFriendly reports Abdelkader would cost $4.25 million against the cap for the remainder of his nearly $30 million deal.

The move makes it clear Detroit GM Steve Yzerman would rather buy him out, save the cap space and free up a roster spot as he works to rebuild the Red Wings, as it’s doubtful another team would pick up his contract through regular waivers -- if you are so inclined, you can read about the different types of NHL waiver rules here. The “unconditional” variety is used typically for the purpose of buying out a player’s contract, such as this case.

In 739 career NHL games, “Abby” scored 106 goals and 146 points for 252 total points. He also gathered 13 points in 64 career playoff games. The Muskegon, Mich. native first joined the Red Wings from Michigan State University at the end of the 2008 season. He had helped Michigan State to a national title in 2007.

His most productive season was 2014-15 when he scored 23 goals and 21 assists in 71 games. He followed that up with 42 points the next season.

Abdelkader has struggled to find ice time the past couple of seasons. Injuries have not helped his cause. He had just 3 assists and no goals in 49 games this past season.

May 17, 2020: Red Wings Justin Abdelkader on the possible NHL return, quarantine and his teammate’s golf game

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