Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman explains why team waived Justin Abdelkader, talks COVID-19 testing

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Prior to last night’s 1st round selection of Swedish winger Lucas Raymond, the Detroit Red Wings made the decision to part ways with a long tenured veteran and home-grown talent.

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Former Michigan State Spartans forward Justin Abdelkader, who has donned the Winged Wheel since 2008, was waived for purposes of a compliance buyout.

He had been signed to a 7 year, $29.5 million contract by then-GM Ken Holland in 2015, but failed to live up to the expectations that came with that deal, and saw his offensive production dwindle almost immediately afterwards.

This past season in 49 games, he registered only three assists with no goals.

“It was really just a cost-savings for us,” general manager Steve Yzerman said of the decision. “We felt that the value of what we were paying him, we could try to save some money and replace Justin with a player making less.”

Speaking of the Draft, Yzerman had to participate remotely after he had come in close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, though Yzerman himself was subsequently tested several times, with each test returning negative.

He’ll be linked with Detroit’s brain trust, which includes chief of amateur scouting Kris Draper and assistant general managers Pat Verbeek and Ryan Martin, via Zoom for today’s Rounds 2-7.

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