For 23-year-old Justin Abdelkader, there's been no trouble keeping busy over the past three seasons. During the hockey season, he's shipped back-and-forth between Detroit and the Grand Rapids Griffins due to his team-friendly two-way contract. Once the off-season hits, Abdelkader spends his free time taking classes at Michigan State University and traveling home to Muskegon to golf and get some R&R time with his family and friends.â†µ
Of course, Abdelkader, who has made an impact in the playoffs the past two seasons when plugged into the lineup, is also keeping an eye on his contract negotiations with the Wings and continues to work out to be a full-time contributor in the NHL:â†µ
"Just waiting to see what will happen contract-wise," said Abdelkader, who served as the grand marshall of the Summer Celebration parade on Saturday in downtown Muskegon. "It’s just a wait-and-see process. I haven’t really talked much about it, but hopefully I’ll have a little security and we’ll see how negotiations go."â†µ
And the Michigander deserves a little security after handling the past three seasons and his extracurricular activities like a pro. The hope is to have a contract drawn up and ready to be signed within the next week or so, before Abdelkader can start negotiating with other teams next Thursday. I think it'd be in the Red Wings best interests to lock this Spartan up.