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Abdelkader assigned to Grand Rapids

by Randy Cleves / Detroit Red Wings
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Red Wings on Friday assigned center Justin Abdelkader to the Griffins of the American Hockey League. Abdelkader, who shows six points, 35 penalty minutes and an average ice time of 10:35 through 50 games with Detroit this season, leads the Wings and is tied for 12th overall in the NHL with 152 hits.

Abdelkader will make his 2009-10 Griffins debut Friday night when Grand Rapids hosts the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. EST.

A Muskegon, Mich., native, the 22-year-old Abdelkader was named to the American Hockey League’s All-Rookie Team last season, when he finished second on Grand Rapids and ranked eighth among AHL rookies with 52 points (24-28—52). His 24 goals tied teammate Francis Pare for the most ever by a first-year Griffin, while his 102 PIM were the most ever for a Griffins center.

After leading the Griffins with six goals in 10 games during the 2009 Calder Cup playoffs, Abdelkader gained national recognition for his postseason performance with the Red Wings. He became the first player in history to score his first two NHL goals in Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, after also becoming the first player since current Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek (1991 Pittsburgh) to score his first NHL goal in the finals.
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