In November of 2015, the Detroit Red Wings signed forward Justin Abdelkader to a seven-year, $29.75 million contract
The Detroit Red Wings’ worst deal that is still playing is forward Justin Abdelkader. Since signing the contract given to him by Holland, he has seemingly forgotten how to play hockey and has been next to invisible on the scoresheet.
The worst about the $4.25 annual salary that Abdelkader is owed is that it is not anywhere near done. His contract will carry on through the 2022-23 season. If the new regime wants to get him off the ice, a buyout might be the best move for Yzerman and his Yzerplan.
During the 2019-20 season, Abdelkader would play in forty-nine total games on the season. He managed a total of three assists on the entire season while posting a minus-fourteen plus/minus rating. This performance does not warrant $4.25 million a season from the organization.
Abdelkader is another thirteen year veteran of the NHL, and parting ways with the forward might be for the best. The issue is the remaining years on his contract would turn into a buyout similar to the Red Wings buyout of Stephen Weiss, which they will pay off next season.
Over the last few years, he has regressed, now thirty-three years old; he is nothing but a fourth-liner who eats up minutes and takes a roster spot away from a youngster like Rasmussen or Veleno.
Holland shelled out some serious cash to Abdelkader back in 2015, and it’s still going to affect them, even beyond the 2019-20 season. Though a buyout would stagger the money he is owed even longer, it might be better to free up the roster spot and make the payments a little less on year by year basis.