MLive’s Ansar Khan issues a 2019-2020 season outlook for Justin Abdelkader this morning, and Khan believes that the Red Wings might part ways with #8 if he is unable to salvage his game:
Abdelkader is most effective when he’s creating havoc in the hard areas of the ice, in the corners and in front of the net, playing physical without taking bad penalties, creating space for skilled players and contributing some offense.
If Abdelkader continues to struggle and younger players are ready to step into the lineup, it’s not out of the question he could be waived (he would clear) and assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins (only $1.075 million of his salary would come off the cap).
Another poor season could prompt the Red Wings to buy out Abdelkader of the final three years of his contract in the off-season. It would cost a total of $6.3 million over six years ($1.8M, $2.3M, $2.3M, $1.05M, $1.05M and $1.05M against the cap annually through 2025-26).
Continued; I don’t believe that Abdelkader would be bought out if he has another rough campaign, but it wouldn’t be totally surprising. It sounds like Abdelkader knows his time in Detroit will be short if he doesn’t step up, and that’s a good thing.