The Red Wings are looking at varying lengths for Justin Abdelkader’s new contract, as he’s pegged to be a significant part of their future.
Coach Mike Babcock tentatively has Abdelkader, 23, as the team’s third-line center. Even if that doesn’t pan out, the Wings see Abdelkader as a gritty role player, especially when he learns to fully use his 6-foot-1, 212-pound body.
Last season, Abdelkader had six points in 50 games as he got to play regularly because of the Wings’ injuries. He was sent to Grand Rapids after everyone was healthy, but was recalled for the playoffs and was inserted one game into the first-round series against Phoenix when Babcock wanted more of a physical edge.