The Detroit Red Wings signed Muskegon, Mich. native and former Michigan State Spartan Justin Abdelkader to a lengthy contract extension in 2015 – 7 years, $29,750,000 to be exact.
“He’s homegrown. A character guy. He’s one of the guys [coach Jeff Blashill] and I are looking to be one of the leaders of this team,” former GM Ken Holland said upon the deal being signed. “We couldn’t afford to lose him.”
Of course, all of that feel-good homegrown kid stuff has fallen completely by the wayside.
Without playing on All-Star Pavel Datsyuk‘s wing, Abdelkader hasn’t even begun to come close to putting up the kind of production that made the loyalty driven Holland give him that kind of extension. In the three seasons since the deal was signed, his production has fallen to 21 points, then back up to 35, then dropping again to just 19 last year.
This season, through 42 games played, he’s not scored a single goal. He’s put up just three assists. And with a $4.25 million cap hit, that comes out to having been paid $1,416,666.67 per point.
According to NHL.com’s stats, there are 667 players in the NHL who are outscoring Abdelkader, including more than a few goaltenders. In fact, his teammate Jonathan Bernier is tied in points with him with three.
It’s truly an unfortunate fall from grace for a home-grown player who was once looked at as one of the key players for the team.
– – Quote via NHL.com Link– –