Detroit Red Wings
RedWingsSeasonTickets.com Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Billboard ushered in Abdelkader's fame years ago

Wednesday, 06.3.2009 / 12:26 PM ET / News
By Larry Wigge  - NHL.com Columnist
X
Share with your Friends


Billboard ushered in Abdelkader\'s fame years ago
PITTSBURGH -- The legend of 22-year-old Justin Abdelkader continues to grow.

From zero goals in the four regular-season games over the last two years and no goals in his first seven playoff games leading into the Stanley Cup finals -- where he became the first rookie to score in consecutive Cup finals games since Minnesota's Dino Ciccarelli in 1981.

Oh yeah, Abdelkader's two goals currently are more than Penguins' stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined.

And now Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma tells us how he also grew up in Muskegon and was one of the first players from that area to make it to the National Hockey League, but ...

I never had a billboard in Western Michigan. Justin did," Bylsma said with a little tough of "jealousy" in his voice. "I don't know if he still does. But I was fully aware of this kid from Michigan growing up.

"I remember seeing the billboard and I was a little jealous I never got one -- not that I'm a billboard type of guy. But he got it."

As it turns out the billboard in Muskegon wasn't for Justin's play at Mona Shores High School, where he was Michigan's Mr. Hockey in 2004 when he scored 37 goals and 43 assists in 28 games. Rather it was a billboard relating to a knee injury he had in high school and the rehab he had afterward.

"The billboard was for a physical therapy unit that helped me with my rehab after knee scope when I was in high school," Abdelkader said, a little embarrassed to know that the whole world now knows of this billboard he thought he had lived down before he got to Michigan State, where NCAA rules said the sign had to come down and prohibited him from being involved in any sort of advertisement.

"It was weird, actually. I had surgery, worked on getting my knee back in shape and there I am splattered all over a billboard, showing my knee and how I could now do things I couldn't when I injured the knee."

Bylsma's "jealously" aside, he is proud of this Muskegon kid, who went on to MSU, was selected in the second round (No. 42) in the 2005 Entry Draft by the Red Wings, and went on to score the winning goal in the NCAA championship game against Boston College in 2007.

And now, more publicity against another Muskegon native.

"Even when he was young, I followed his career, even though I had not met him," Bylsma said. "Then when he went on to Michigan State and I remember hearing talk about where he was going to rank as a pro. I was fully aware of him, though I never got a chance to meet him until this year in Grand Rapids, where I met his family."

So, Dan what do you think of Justin's play so far against your team?

"When your team plays well enough and you have a great team concept, you give everybody a chance to put on the cape on any given night," he said. "Unfortunately for us he's been wearing it for two games here."

So far, the cape fits Abdelkader pretty well. Probably better than the billboard.




SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80