The Detroit Red Wings are continuing to move pieces around and shuffling players in and out during their rebuild. On Tuesday, general manager Steve Yzerman placed Justin Abdelkader on waivers for the purpose of a buyout.
Abdelkader has three seasons remaining on his contract, meaning the Red Wings will incur cap charges for the next six years. As per CapFriendly, the breakdown of the buyout would be as follows:
- 2020-21: $1,805,556
- 2021-22: $2,305,556
- 2022-23: $2,305,556
- 2023-24: $1,055,556
- 2024-25: $1,055,556
- 2025-26: $1,055,556
It wasn’t long ago that Abdelkader was the type of player the Red Wings might have felt they could build around. A powerful winger that would have been coveted in the NHL, at the top of his game, he played on a line with Pavel Datsyuk, scoring 23 goals in 2014-15. His play earned him a seven-year extension during that season, one that paid him $4.25 million per season. Without Datsyuk, his game fell off a cliff.
Had their been an AHL season, the Red Wings might have waived him and sent him to the minors. Without that option, the team was left with little choice but a buyout.
With Abdelkader bought out, the Red Wings are left with $28 million in cap space with a roster of 15 players (8 forwards, 5 defensemen , 2 goalies). They have some business to take care of as their list of RFAs include: forward Adam Erne, forward Tyler Bertuzzi, Forward Anthony Mantha, forward Dmytro Timashov, forward Brendan Perlini, forward Christoffer Ehn and defenseman Madison Bowey.
Red Wings Will Look Very Different
Jonathan Ericsson is gone. Jimmy Howard is gone. Justin Abdelkader is gone. Something suggests the Red Wings aren’t done yet either.
Abdelkader, 33, was drafted by the Red Wings at 42nd overall in 2005. This is, in a way, the end of an era in Detroit and he’ll be remembered as a key piece of the team for some time and how he did a massive amount for the community and Michigan as a whole.
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