Justin Abdelkader pens article for The Players’ Tribune: ‘All I ever wanted to be was a Red Wing’

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In 2005, Justin Abdelkader’s dream came true when he was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round of the NHL Draft.

For the next 13 years, Justin was part of the Red Wings organization, until GM Steve Yzerman recently made the decision that it was time to move on.

In a piece recently published in The Players’ Tribune Abdelkader talked about always wanting to play for the Red Wings and how grateful he is to have been given the opportunity.

Here is an excerpt from the article, which you can read in its entirety by clicking here.

All I ever wanted to be was a Red Wing.

As a boy, that’s what I dreamed of.

It was a dream I felt like I could reach out and touch when I was five years old and I was at the Joe Louis Arena for the very first time.

I remember the drive to the arena. The tall buildings of downtown Detroit looked like they went up into the sky forever, and the traffic went down the road the same way. There were red-and-white sweaters and hats on everybody on the sidewalks. There was just this feeling in the air. Like my family and I were going somewhere special. Like it was something that not everybody got to do. 

Walking through the concourse I must have looked like a kid on Christmas Day. I remember running up to the entrance of our section and peeking through the plastic curtains that hid the ice from the hallways — that was when I saw the Joe in all her beauty for the first time.

It was just perfect.

I knew that day that I wanted to become part of it.

And against the odds, I did.

Nation, if you were not already a huge fan of Justin Abdelkader as a person, you are now!