Last night during the Chicago Blackhawks-Montreal Canadiens game, TSN aired their latest “Insider Trading” segment featuring Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun. In it, McKenzie explains that since there has been no movement between the Detroit Red Wings and restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou, teams have started to call to ask about the young forward.
Though he makes it clear that Detroit is not shopping Athanasiou, they are listening to the offers with a specific price in mind. That price—another young forward with similar offensive potential—seems almost impossible to meet at this point. Though nothing seems imminent, Athanasiou has to sign somewhere in the league before December 1st, or forfeit his entire season. The Red Wings would maintain their rights over the 23-year old.
It is interesting that the Red Wings would be willing to listen. Despite yesterday’s 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, the team has gotten off to a better start than many expected, riding solid goaltending to two wins in their first two games. Should that success continue, it will be a lot harder to pull the trigger and start selling off assets for an inevitable rebuild. Athanasiou is right on the border of being a key piece to build around, or an asset to sell off. If he continues his holdout, he may find himself slipping into the latter category.