By The Numbers will highlight the Red Wings on-ice accomplishments in the 2015-16 season. Each week during the off-season, By The Numbers will profile a different player on the team, focusing on their statistical highs. This week we focus on forward Justin Abdelkader.
|Whether it's next season or in the years that follow, Justin Abdelkader will likely be one of the Red Wings to wear a letter on his sweater. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
When folks associated with the team reference the Red Wings’ core leadership, it’s widely assumed they’re speaking of captain Henrik Zetterberg and associate captain Niklas Kronwall.
And since Pavel Datsyuk chose not to return to the Wings next season, someone new will be elevated to the leadership group and wear an ‘A’ on their sweater.
That somebody could be Abdelkader, who signed a seven-year contract extension last season. The new deal is set to expire following the 2022-23 season.
“It’s still Z and Kronner, it’s still their team,” Abdelkader said. “They’re the captains. They’re the group that is leading this team. But at the same time, I’m saying the guys in their 20s can obviously have a bigger impact. I don’t know if it’s push them but push themselves to the highest level that they can play at. They’re the guys that in some ways might have to carry the team too. But obviously we still have the leadership and core group of guys that are going to lead this team.”
82 | For the first time in his seven-season NHL career Abdelkader played in every regular-season game. He was one of three Red Wings – Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist – to appear in every game during the 2015-16 season.
120 | Abdelkader saw a 66.6 percent jump in the number of his penalty minutes over the previous season. Over the last three seasons he has a combined 223 PIM consisting of 89 minor infractions and seven majors – all team highs in that span. Abdelkader engaged in four fighting majors last season, battling Buffalo’s Josh Gorges, Montreal’s Alexei Emelin, and Florida’s Derek MacKenzie and Jonathan Huberdeau.
155 | Established a new personal best for shots on goal to finish eighth among teammates. He is one of six Wings to have more than 300 SOG over the past two seasons – Zetterberg (441), Tomas Tatar (376), Nyquist (356), Datsyuk (346), Darren Helm (325) and Abdelkader (309). He fired a season-high seven SOG in the Red Wings’ 6-3 loss at Pittsburgh (Feb. 18).
207 | The first Red Wings’ forward to top the 200-hit mark in a single season since the NHL began tracking hits in 1997-98. His 1,148 career hits tops Detroit’s all-time list. Kronwall is No. 2 on the list with 968 hits.
4 | Was second on the team in game-winning goals, netting winners against Toronto (Oct. 9), Carolina (Oct. 10), San Jose (Jan. 7) and Winnipeg (Mar. 10). Now has 14 career GWG, which is fourth among active Red Wings trailing only Datsyuk (27), Zetterberg (25) and Johan Franzen (24).
6 | He finished fourth on the team in power-play goals, behind only Datsyuk (8), Nyquist (7) and Tatar (7). Abdelkader potted five PPG in the first 29 games of the season but only one more in the final 53 games. Detroit was 4-2-0 when he registered a power-play goal.