The Red Wings will save $2.4 million this season and $1.94 million in each of the following two seasons.
Update: Forward Justin Abdelkader has been placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 6, 2020
Justin Abdelkader To Be Bought Out by Red Wings
Abdelkader had three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million. With the buyout, Abdelkater will now be paid $1,055,556 for the next six years.
Drafted in the second round, 42nd overall, Abdelkader has spent his entire career until now with Detroit. Over that span he has scored 106 goals and 252 points in 739 career games. He also provided the Red Wings with a physical presence, accumulating 608 penalty minutes in his career.
Abdelkader signed a seven year $29.75 million contract extension with the Red Wings in 2015 following a career season in which he scored 23 goals and posted 44 points in 71 games. Over the first four years of the contract, his production dramatically decreased, posting totals of 26 goals and 78 points.
During his first year Abdelkader only played two games for the Red Wings. Despite this, he was included in the team photo and given a Stanley Cup ring when Detroit wan that year. His name, however, was not engraved on the Cup as he had not played the minimum number of games to qualify for that inclusion.
Abdelkader has also represented Team USA three times in his career. His first appearance was at the 2007 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. Following that he also dressed for his country at the 2014 and 2016 IIHF world championships.
What it Means for the Future
With Detroit clearly in the midst of a full rebuild under new GM Steve Yzerman, Abdelkader was a prime buy out candidate. His declining numbers and advancing age no longer fit within the mold of the team that drafted him. He will be a UFA following the buy out.