Justin Abdelkader signs pro tryout with Grand Rapids Griffins

Detroit News

Detroit — Justin Abdelkader is back in the Red Wings’ organization.

Abdelkader signed a professional tryout Friday with the minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins.

Abdelkader, who’ll be 34 on Feb. 25, was bought out of his seven-year, $29.75 million contract in October 2020. He is due two-thirds of his remaining salary ($9.5 million), resulting in a total buyout of $6.33 million.

For the Wings, Abdelkader will count against the salary cap through the 2025-26 season:  $1.81 million last season, $2.31 million in each of this season and 2022-23, and $1.1 million the following three years. Once the buyout is completed, Abdelkader can sign with another NHL team.

A Muskegon native who played at Michigan State, Abdelkader was drafted by the Wings in the second round (No. 42 overall) in 2005, and made his NHL debut three years later.

Abdelkader played in 739 regular-season games over 13 seasons in Detroit, with 252 points (106 goals). After scoring 23 (2014-15) and 19 goals (2015-16), Abdelkader never was able to come close to those offensive totals again.

Abdelkader’s offensive production declined in recent seasons, capped in 2019-20 when he totaled three points (all assists) in 49 games with a minus-14 rating.

Abdelkader played nine games in Switzerland last season, and also captained Team USA at the men’s world championships.


Twitter: @tkulfan

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