Detroit Red Wings waive Justin Abdelkader to clear salary cap space

The Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader, front, and New Jersey Devils' Connor Carrick battle for position in the third period on Feb. 25 in Detroit. (AP file photo)

NEW YORK (AP) — NHL teams continue to clear salary cap space with free agency to start later this week.

The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Justin Abdelkader on unconditional waivers Tuesday for the purpose of buying out his contract. The Montreal Canadiens did the same with defenseman Karl Alzner, who had been relegated to the minors for much of last season.

Abdelkader had three years remaining on his contract at a salary cap hit of $4.25 million. His buyout will span six years for Detroit.

Alzner’s buyout is four years since he had two years left at a $4.625 million cap hit. He becomes a free agent.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson cleared unconditional waivers, allowing the team to buy out the remainder of his contract. Johnson’s buyout will also last six years since he had three years left on his contract.