The deal we've been reacting to since we first learned of its impending status last night thanks to Bob McKenzie is done. The team took to Twitter to announce the new seven-year contract for Justin Abdelkader.
UPDATE: Ken Holland announced today that the team has signed LW Justin Abdelkader to a seven-year contract extension pic.twitter.com/SMgR02djzK— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) November 12, 2015
While the Red Wings never release financial contract details, the heavy-hitting insiders were ready to strike immediately with the AAV:
Justin Abdelkader's AAV on his 7-year contract extension with DET is $4.25M. Signing now official, announced by Wings.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 12, 2015
Justin Abdelkader will turn 29 years old this February and will see this contract run until he's 36 years old. Kyle wrote last night that the contract would be a bad idea:
Seven years for a guy who is 28 years old, and has recently hit his career-high in points last season with 44 in 71 games. Currently riding a scoring slump, he has seven points in 15 games, three of which came in the first game against Toronto.
Abdelkader was a perennial third line checking forward until being put on Pavel Datsyuk's wing to do what Pavel Datsyuk once described as "piano puller" duties, performing slowly in that role until a breakout year last season made him a 23-goal, 44-point scorer.
$4.25M AAV for a perennial 20-goal, 40-point guy is honestly a decent fair-market deal. The problem with this consideration is that Abdelkader has just one year of producing like that, and that year was driven by a 14.9% shooting percentage, which was nearly double his career 8.6% clip. Generally, shooting percentages above 12 or 13% are reserved for the very best shooters in the game. Usually when a guy like Abdelkader puts numbers up like that, we would look for a regression of that shooting percentage back to a more normal area around 9%
For what it's worth, even with the scoring drought Abdelkader has been on since the third game of the season, he's currently shooting 16.7% through the first 15 games.
The biggest concern is that Abdelkader plays a big, physical game and that's not exactly the kind of playing style that holds up well throughout a players 30s. Six of Abdelkader's years under this deal will see him within that age group.
Normally, when a homegrown player is given a long deal such as this one, the AAV tends to work out as a pretty good bargain for the first few years and then a bit of an overpayment later. Based on historical trends, this deal looks very much like roughly fair market value to start and then an overpayment. If Abdelkader can buck trends and continue producing like he did last season then this deal should be decently favorable; there's just a lot of concern about his ability to do that.
Currently, the Wings have pending UFAs coming up in Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Kyle Quincey, Joakim Andersson, and Brad Richards. The Wings' RFA list includes Teemu Pulkkinen, Riley Sheahan, Petr Mrazek, Danny DeKeyser, Alexey Marchenko, Tomas Nosek, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mitch Callahan, and others.
Justin Abdelkader DET 7yr extension - AAV $4.25M 2016-17 - $5.5M 2017-19 - $5M 2019-20 - $4.75M 2020-21 - $3.5M 2021-23 - $3M #CapFriendly— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) November 12, 2015
Justin Abdelkader's contract includes full NTC in first four seasons and a partial after that.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) November 12, 2015