A deal between the Red Wings and RFA forward Justin Abdelkader may not be too far away.
According to the Detroit Free Press, GM Ken Holland plans to meet with the 25-year old forward (as well as Tomas Holmstrom) when he makes his way back to Detroit in the coming week. Both sides have shown a mutual interest in getting a deal done while Abdelkader has decided not to file for arbitration in hopes of getting a longer term deal.
So with both sides mutually interested in working something out, what could Abdelkader be looking at in terms of a contract?
During this offseason the Wings signed speedy and versatile forward Darren Helm to a four-year deal worth $8.5 million dollars. Now it’s unlikely that Abdelkader will get that kind of money but he has also shown good versatility under Babcock especially when it comes to working on the penalty kill or a two-way game from the center or wing positions. So in a year where the Wings may have to depend on inexperienced forwards more so than in years past Abdelkader may be looking at a raise from the $825,000 he made last season to the $1.25 million range.
So assuming Abdelkader is re-signed and given the possibility that Gustav Nyquist and Swiss star Damien Brunner make the squad, Ansar Khan of Mlive.com suggests Cory Emmerton shouldn’t have his heart set on being a regular member of the Wings’ top roster.
“… Being a center gave Emmerton an advantage over other fourth-line players last season. He ended up playing 71 games. This year, they have Abdelkader penciled in as their fourth-line center. Emmerton will be competing for not only for a spot in the lineup, but also on the roster …”
The 24-year-old Emmerton who had 6 goals, 4 assists and 10 points in 71 games last season has two years left on his contract with a cap hit of $533,000.
Ref: Mlive.com, Detroit Free Press