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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Abdelkader in, Maltby injured

The Red Wings are bringing former Michigan State star Justin Abdelkader in for the game against Columbus tonight after finding out that forward Kirk Maltby is unavailable because of an injury (details to follow).
Abdelkader was the Red Wings' second-round draft pick in 2005 and by coming to Detroit on a one-game amateur tryout, he's foregoing his final year of eligibility at Michigan State.
Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill said that the Red Wings are "real close" to signing Abdelkader to a three-year entry-level contract. If the sides agree by Saturday, Abdelkader will stay with the team through the playoffs. He must sign by Saturday to be eligible to play for the Wings in the post-season.
Abdelkader said that he decided early this week that he wasn't going back to Michigan State next season.
Nill also said that the Red Wings are negotiating with junior defenseman Logan Pyett on an entry-level contract. Nill said the two sides aren't close on a deal.
Abdelkader could have remained Red Wings' property until Aug. 15, 2009, without signing a contract, so signing him this year is a sign that the organization is pleased with his progress.
The prospects who need to be signed by June 1 or the Wings will lose their rights are: Pyett, Sergei Kolosov, Anton Axelsson, Dick Axelsson and Daniel Larsson. Nill said that the Red Wings want to sign the two Axelssons (not related and Larsson, but have to wait until after the Swedish Elite League season is done to negotiate. (Or the World Championships if any of the three make the Swedish team for that tournament.) Nill didn't list Kolosov as someone that the team is working on signing.

Maltby has a strained hamstring, according to coach Mike Babcock, an injury that occurred without any contact from an opponent. When he'll return to the lineup is unknown.
Tomas Holmstrom (abdomen) said that he won't play tonight, but will definitely be back in the lineup Sunday, giving him a one-game tune-up for the playoffs.
Kris Draper (groin) said that he won't play in either of the last two regular-season games, but will be ready for the playoffs.
Brad Stuart (finger) said that he's on track for a possible Game 1 return.


Blogger YzermanZetterberg said...

Isn't there some kind of clause where if the player signed to an ATO pays their own expenses they can retain their NCAA eligibility? Or does that only apply at the AHL level and below?

Also, given previous reports on the limited number of spaces available on the Wings 50-man roster, I wonder what (if any) implications the Abdelkader and Pyett situations have RE: the signing of European prospects who are in "sign them or lose them" scenarios, as well as the possible signing of Fabian Brunnstrom. Have you heard anything new?

April 3, 2008 at 11:31 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

I asked Nill directly if he loses his eligibility and he said yes. It's irrelevant in a way because Abdelkader said that he decided this week that he wasn't going back to Michigan State next season.

April 3, 2008 at 11:58 AM 
Blogger YzermanZetterberg said...

Thanks, Bruce.

Keep up the great work. Do you know yet if you'll be traveling to away games for the playoffs, or does it depend on the opponent's location?

April 3, 2008 at 12:26 PM 

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