By: Will Burchfield

Michigan-native and former-Spartan Justin Abdelkader has been named an assistant captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

How’s that for a hometown hero?

The Red Wings announced the news on Tuesday morning via Twitter:

For Abdelkader, this honor feels like a long time coming. He was drafted by the Wings in 2005, made his debut in 2008 and is entering his eighth full season in Detroit. The feisty 29-year old has emerged as one of the team’s emotional leaders in recent years. Now he has the ‘A’ to back it up.

Known more for his grit than his skill, Abdelkader has increased his offensive production over the past two seasons. He registered 44 points in 2014-15 and 42 points in 2015-16, after posting a career high of 28 in the five seasons prior.

Abdelkader will join Niklas Kronwall as one of two assistant captains on the team, assuming the title from the recently-departed Pavel Datsyuk. Henrik Zetterberg will wear the ‘C’ for the fourth consecutive season.

The Red Wings open the season on Oct. 13 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


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