Jan 27: After just three games with the Griffins, Abdelkader is off to Beijing. He has been released from his PTO and will join the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing as an alternate. Abdelkader could be added to the roster if the team runs into injury or COVID-related issues. He did not record a point in his three AHL contests.
Jan 21: It’s been more than a decade since Justin Abdelkader last took the ice for the Grand Rapids Griffins. That stretch will end in the coming days after the veteran forward signed an AHL professional tryout with the Detroit Red Wings affiliate.
Abdelkader, 34, played last season for EV Zug in Switzerland and last suited up for an NHL game during the 2019-20 season. The veteran forward spent his entire career with the Red Wings organization, playing in 739 regular season games and racking up 252 points. A member of Team USA several times, Abdelkader served as captain for last summer’s World Championship squad that finished third, taking home a bronze medal in the process.
This might have seemed like an attempt to get onto the U.S. Olympic squad had it happened a few weeks ago, but the roster for that group was already announced. Instead, it appears more like a comeback attempt for a player who isn’t so far removed from NHL action.
Still, Abdelkader was a shell of his former self in 2019-20 with the Red Wings and failed to record a single goal in 49 outings. A stint with the Griffins won’t necessarily turn into anything more than that.