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Abdelkader returned to Grand Rapids

by Randy Cleves / Detroit Red Wings
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Red Wings on Thursday assigned center Justin Abdelkader to the Griffins, their AHL affiliate. Abdelkader, 22, played in both of the Wings’ season-opening games in Sweden last weekend, going scoreless with two penalty minutes and a plus-1 rating.

The Muskegon, Mich., native 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.

Abdelkader will travel with the Griffins (1-0-0-0) tomorrow as they prepare for their second game of the season this Saturday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. EDT against the Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum.

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