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Abdelkader: ‘Huge honor’ to be alternate capt.

Detroit Red Wings Justin Abdelkader
Detroit Red Wings Justin Abdelkader at practice on Oct. 12, 2016.

DETROIT (WOOD) — Muskegon’s Justin Abdelkader will have added responsibilities with the Detroit Red Wings this season as an alternate captain.

“It’s a huge honor. Going up through this organization … I’ve learned under a lot of really good players, good captains we’ve had and now it’s time for me to hopefully help lead these young guys and I’m really looking forward to it,” Abdelkader said.

“He’s been a leader in this room for a long time, I think,” forward Luke Glendening, an East Grand Rapids native, said of Abdelkader. “Ever since I’ve been here, he’s been a leader even though he didn’t have a letter on his jersey. He’s a perfect guy to have it and we’re all excited for him.”

“He’s such a great leader on and off the ice. He definitely leads by example. He’s a teammate that you can go talk to without any problems,” forward Andreas Athanasiou added.

The Red Wings drop the puck on the new season Thursday night in Tampa against the Lightning. Wednesday, head coach Jeff Blashill put the team through one last workout at Joe Louis Arena before they boarded their flight to Florida.

It will be a challenging start to the season: The Lightning knocked the Wings out of the playoffs in the previous two seasons. After Tampa, the Wings head to Miami, where they’ll face off against the Panthers, who are the reigning Atlantic Division champs.

The Wings’ home opener is Monday against the Ottawa Senators.



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