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

Reminiscing with Abby's dad

Saturday, 01.7.2012 / 11:06 AM ET / Features
By Zack Crawford  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
X
Share with your Friends


Reminiscing with Abby\'s dad
Joseph Abdelkader
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – As the Red Wings practiced Friday morning at MasterCard Centre, Joseph Abdelkader reminisced about his son’s early interest in hockey back home in Muskegon, Michigan.
   
“One of the first times he skated, we went out on this small lake. It was one of those winters like this, a little colder, but no snow and the ice on the lake was perfect ice,” Abdelkader said. “And the kids just skated all over the place and he just loved it. And you know what — that might have been the time where he said, ‘Hey, this is awesome.’ ”

After putting his son into organized hockey, the family noticed some early promise in young Justin.

“All of a sudden, at a young age he just seemed to be above everybody else,” Abdelkader said. “And it just kept continuing so we just kept pushing him to the next level and here he is.”

Over time, the Abdelkaders had familiarized themselves with the highway route to Toronto, where Justin participated on many weekend tournaments.

“They made a few trips here to Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, the Midwest,” Joseph said. “I remember when we came here when he was in seventh grade, he broke his collarbone. He had to drive back with that broken collarbone so that was tough. Seven hour drive, but he survived it.”

In Abdelkader’s case, the road to the NHL implies more than just the symbolic trajectory of his career. His path to Detroit, the stops he made with junior teams and then Michigan State University, formed a well-defined easterly line that starts near Lake Michigan and ends next to the Detroit River.

“There’s a highway that goes from Muskegon to Detroit called I-96,” Joseph said. “Justin grew-up in Muskegon, he played at Grand Rapids in the American league, which is along I-96, he played at Michigan State University — I-96 and now he’s in Detroit — I-96. He covered the four major cities. I told him if he ever does a hockey school he’s got to call it “The I-96 Hockey School.’ ”

Nowadays, whenever they’re able to, the Abdelkaders take that very route on I-96 to make it to weekend games at Joe Louis Arena.

“We’re very fortunate. I look around at all the other families who have to fly in from Europe — they come here maybe twice, three times a year,”Abdelkader said. “We’re very grateful and very fortunate.”

Of all the spectacular moments that he’s witnessed in his son’s career, Abdelkader remembers one in particular that stands above the rest.

“The first time when he signed and played his first game, seeing him come out of that tunnel out of the locker room onto the ice with all of these Hall of Famers,” he said. “The goals are all special, but coming out of that tunnel was probably the coolest thing.”

 

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59