To say that Justin Abdelkader‘s season has not been good might be the understatement of the year.
After playing in 739 career games with the team, you can definitely say that he has seen some serious ups and downs during his tenure. Playoff runs, Hall of Fame worthy teammates, and even a Stanley Cup championship. Through those 739 games, he has scored 106 goals and racked up 146 assists. But, while playing in 49 games in this particular season, you can guess how many goals he has scored. Indeed, that number is exactly zero.
For a player in the fourth year of a seven year, $29.75 million contract, it is certainly fair to expect more from the former 20 goal scorer. But, all the production that he has turned in this year equates to a total three assists.
A recipient of a no trade clause when signing his current contract, Abdelkader has been locked in to Detroit’s roster with no chance of movement since the 2016-17 season. After this season, however, that clause will be no longer.
According to CapFriendly, Abdelkader’s current pact came with a full no trade clause from the 2016-17 season until the 2019-20 season. That clause becomes modified following the current season if Detroit misses the playoffs, or if he is not among the top nine forwards in terms of time on ice. The modification states that he would then be fair game to be traded to any team in the league.
The Red Wings officially staked their claim as the 31st overall team in the NHL this season following last night’s 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, and were officially eliminated from playoff contention on February 21st, which in turn activated the modification in Abdelkader’s no trade clause.
Without an active no movement clause, the team would also be allowed to leave Abdelkader unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft for the new Seattle franchise before the 2021-22 season if he is still on Detroit’s roster at that point.
Whether or not general manager Steve Yzerman would be able to find a trade partner willing to take on Abdelkader’s contract is another story. But, following an atrocious season, there will officially be a chance that he could be the recipient of a change of scenery.