Although Andreas Athanasiou has now agreed to terms on a new deal with Detroit, it’s still going to take some time before he rejoins the team. GM Ken Holland told reporters, including Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, that the team will apply for a work visa for the winger on Monday morning. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, it can take a few days if not longer for that to be approved. Once that happens, he’ll need some practices before being game-ready; while Holland wouldn’t definitively rule out an AHL conditioning stint for Athanasiou, he did note that it’s an unlikely scenario.
In the meantime, Holland will likely be busy working the phones as he looks to make a roster move or two to free up the cap space required to add Athanasiou to the active roster. A trade seems likely but if there is a significant injury between now and then, the Red Wings could use LTIR to get back into cap compliance in the short-term and give them more time to work out a trade.
More from around the league:
- While Blue Jackets winger Pierre-Luc Dubois isn’t lighting it up (just one goal through seven games), Aaron Portzline of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that there are no indications that the team is planning on sending him back to junior before he plays his tenth game next week. The 19-year-old isn’t eligible to play in the AHL yet and the fact that he is playing a regular shift (he’s averaging nearly 13 minutes per game) is a good sign for him to officially burn the first season of his entry-level contract. The focus will then shift to 40 games on the active roster when he will accrue a year towards UFA eligibility.
- Although Ducks defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen have started skating with the team, both are out for tonight’s game against Montreal, the team announced (Twitter link). Both players had been targeting November 1st as a return date and while they’ll miss at least one more game, they still appear to be ahead of schedule in their recoveries from offseason shoulder surgeries.