In the past week, the Red Wings have re-signed Darren Helm and signed Mike Modano, bolstering their depth at forward. With those two moves out of the way, it means that it is now time for the Red Wings to start focusing on getting a deal done with Justin Abdelkader, who is a restricted free agent just like Helm was.
They have one more player to sign, restricted free-agent center Justin Abdelkader. Holland said he expects that deal to be completed soon.
Abdelkader’s cap hit likely will be in the $800,000 range. And they would like to keep a cushion of about $500,000 to $700,000 to recall a player from the Grand Rapids Griffins in case short-term injuries leave them short of a full lineup.
After Abdelkader is re-signed, the Red Wings will have only a couple moves left to make before their roster is essentially finalized heading into the season. The first move will be to get rid of a forward, as adding Abdelkader back to the roster will put the Red Wings over the limit. There's a good chance that player will be Mattias Ritola, who could be waived or traded.
The other move that Ken Holland has wanted to make for a while now comes in the form of signing another defenseman for depth purposes. It remains to be seen if that will actually happen, but if it does, you can officially put Derek Meech's spot with the Wings on notice.