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Abdelkader recalled; Downey returned to GR

Former MSU standout could make his season debut against Capitals

Friday, 01.30.2009 / 1:20 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Abdelkader recalled; Downey returned to GR
DETROIT – The Red Wings announced today that they have recalled forward Justin Abdelkader from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, and reassigned forward Aaron Downey.

Abdelkader is fifth in scoring with the Griffins, compiling 14 goals and 13 assists in 44 games. The former Michigan State standout was named AHL Rookie of the Month for October after leading all rookie skaters with seven goals.

The 21-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Red Wings last April, forgoing his final year of college eligibility. Abdelkader played in two regular-season games for the Wings, but stayed with the club as a member of the ‘Black Aces’ during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup championship last spring. He gained valuable experience practicing with the Red Wings throughout the entire playoff run, and was on the ice in Pittsburgh when the Red Wings celebrated their championship.

Abdelkader may be best known for his heroics at MSU. The former Spartan scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the 2007 national championship over Boston College, lifting the Spartans to their third NCAA title.

Along with rookie forward Ville Leino, Downey, 34, was called up by the Red Wings this week. The moves were necessary to fill roster vacancy created by injuries to defenseman Brad Stuart (ribs) and forward Henrik Zetterberg (lower back).

Downey played in Thursday’s game against Dallas. The physical forward picked-up a roughing penalty as a result of a second-period altercation with Stars forward Krystofer Barch.

In 44 games with the Griffins this season, Downey has two goals, four assists, 71 penalty minutes, and seven fighting majors. He played in 56 games with the Red Wings last season, compiling 116 penalty minutes and three assists.


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