Abdelkader in, Maltby injured
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.