| The Detroit News
Detroit — The Red Wings have placed forward Justin Abdelkader on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.
Abdelkader, 33, signed a seven-year contract worth $29.75 million ($4.25 million salary cap hit) before the 2016-17 season and has struggled to live up to the contract in recent seasons.
Considering the buyout formula, Abdelkader’s buyout cap hit will be $1,805,556 next season, $2,305,556 the next two seasons, and $1,055,556 for the three seasons (2023-24 to 2025-56) after that.
Given Abdelkader’s age, he’ll receive two-thirds of the remaining salary due ($9.5 million), resulting in a total buyout of $6,333,333 million.
Abdelkader, one of the Wings’ alternate captains, played 49 games last season, getting three points (all assists), with a minus-14 rating.
After scoring 23 (2014-15) and 19 goals (2015-16), Abdelkader never was able to come close to those offensive totals again.
Injuries played a factor, but Abdelkader (6-foot-2, 213 pounds) didn’t provide the physical presence the Wings desired, and his speed and quickness were declining in an NHL game that was getting faster.