GP:71 | G:6 | A:13 | P:19
Knowing that this is a ranking of the Detroit Red Wings worst contracts on the team, this should be no surprise to anybody. After posting back-to-back 40-point seasons (2014-2016), Ken Holland decided to give Abdelkader a seven-year deal worth $29.75 million ($4.25 / season). ONCE AGAIN, Abdelkader holds an NTC until 2020, and a modified NTC until 2023.
The one-time 20-goal scorer, Abdelkader appeared to be showing all the necessary traits to show he can be the next talented power-forward in the league for years to come. So, what exactly went wrong?
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After receiving a massive contract, Abdelkader posted only 21-points, in an injury-riddled 16-17 campaign. The book on Abdelkader’s game has always been consistency. Now on the fourth line, this contract has turned into an absolute nightmare for the Detroit Red Wings. One they may not be able to get out of. Buying out his contract would be a bad decision as Detroit would be forced to pay Abdelkader until the 2026-2027 season. Not excited about that. At 32-years old now, Abdelkader is no longer in the prime years of his playing days.
Abdelkader, much like all power-forwards in the NHL, has seen his play suffer for the playing style he was once known for. Lucic, and Simmonds, we’re the exact same way. When you play a heavy game, you no longer have enough in the tank to play that same way on a consistent basis the way you were able to in your early 20s.
That’s just the harsh reality of it. Let’s see where Tom Wilson is at when he is 32 years old. Ken Holland had a knack for dishing out bad contracts to players that remained loyal and stayed with the team. It was his biggest flaw as a GM in Detroit. Now Yzerman is left with a team that has serious cap issues. Only time will tell what he can do to free up much-needed cap space.