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Former Red Wings F Justin Abdelkader is back in pro hockey

The Detroit Red Wings mnade the decision to cut ties with veteran forward Justin Abdelkader prior to this season after 739 career NHL games, all played with Detroit.

And while he wasn’t able to land another contract from an NHL team, one professional franchise is taking a waiver on him.

Abdelkader signed a contract with EV Zug of the Swiss National League:

Justin Abdelkader

During his NHL career, Abdelkader scored 106 goals with 146 career assists.

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Reporter throws cold water on fans hoping to see Jeff Blashill fired

During their recent four-game road trip, the Detroit Red Wings reminded their fan base a little too much of last year’s team that earned the unfortunate distinction of being the 1st NHL team eliminated from playoff contention en route to 49 losses.

Despite starting this campaign with a modest 2-2 record, they dropped four straight on the road, including two against the previously winless Chicago Blackhawks. Too many instances of being outperformed combined with a poor special teams unit have once again been stirring the frustrations of the fan base.

And while there have been plenty of renewed calls from fans for GM Steve Yzerman to go in another coaching direction, longtime Detroit Free Press beat writer Helene St. James doesn’t anticipate that happening this season.

“Since being named general manager in April 2019, Yzerman has shown himself to be methodical, patient — and supportive of Blashill. At the conclusion of last season, when the Wings went 17-49-5, Yzerman fingered the lineup rather than the coaching. The Wings were decimated by injuries — most notably Anthony Mantha was limited to 43 games — and had numerous players on the roster who were on their last legs in the league. Eight players from last season’s team are no longer playing in the NHL, including Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, Mike Green, Trevor Daley and Brendan Perlini.”

Additionally, two more reasons St. James lists as to why she believes a coaching change during the season is unlikely is due to the fact that the Red Wings are currently missing several players due to COVID-19 protocols, which is hampering their on-ice performance; furthermore, the fiscal cost of bringing aboard a new coach that would command a higher salary, such as notable coaching free-agent (and former Red Wings linemate) Gerard Gallant.

“Blashill had just been signed to a two-year extension a couple weeks before Yzerman was named GM. Yzerman could have made a change last season, or last summer. Clearly, he has been satisfied with how Blashill has developed players who are key to the rebuild such as Larkin, Bertuzzi and defenseman Filip Hronek.

Anything can happen, but those are reasons why it’s unlikely Yzerman makes a coaching change this season.”

Red Wings fans, are you in agreement that a coaching change during the season isn’t likely?

– – Quotes via Helene St. James of The Detroit Free Press Link – –

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