In Red Wings Land
F Justin Abdelkader
The evidence: He’s signed at a $4.25 million cap hit through 2022-23, making a buyout prohibitive (six years at annual cap hits ranging from $1.55 million to $2.35 million). Given his decline (22 points in 122 games the past two seasons, no points since Oct. 23), the most likely scenario is Abdelkader is waived and demoted.
The 33-year-old would still draw his NHL salary, but the Wings would gain a little north of $1 million in cap relief — plus a roster spot, maybe one Evgeny Svechnikov could claim.
The verdict: Gone (from the roster, not the payroll).
Helene goes through the entire roster in this one. I don’t disagree with too many of her verdicts. I don’t think the Red Wings will look radically different whenever their next season begins.
Around the League
“His compete level. And his I.Q.,” she told Sportsnet earlier this year. As Lafrenière’s agent, Castonguay knows the top prospect better than most, helping guide the highly touted franchise talent through a crucial draft year.
“I think he makes players around him so much better. He would anticipate plays that would always lead to scoring chances no matter what,” she said, thinking back to the early days of watching him play. “I think that was a big thing, for us, that we saw very early on … his I.Q. and his compete level were what stood out the most with him.”
Sounds good to me.