July 29: The Kings have officially announced the contract for Athanasiou, which will be for one year and $2.7MM. The contract will take him to unrestricted free agency next summer.
July 28: Since he wasn’t tendered a qualifying offer by Edmonton last fall over fears of what an arbitration award would look like, Andreas Athanasiou was a player that wasn’t a guarantee to receive one from the Kings earlier this week. He ultimately did and now TSN’s Darren Dreger reported (Twitter link) that the two sides were close to finalizing a new one-year deal. David Pagnotta reported that it’s a one-year contract worth $2.7MM.
The 26-year-old had to settle for a one-year, $1.2MM contract with Los Angeles in late December after longer-term offers failed to materialize in unrestricted free agency. The investment proved to be a wise one for the Kings as Athanasiou finished tied for sixth in team scoring with 10 goals and 13 assists in 47 games; getting someone averaging close to half a point per game at that price tag is a pretty good bargain.
Athanasiou is still only two years removed from a 30-goal season with Detroit, a stat that certainly would have come up had his case gone to salary arbitration. Accordingly, it’s fair to expect that this new deal will take that into account and that the price tag on this one will be a bit higher than what he made last season. This contract will take Athanasiou to UFA eligibility next summer so if he’s looking to establish himself as a more viable option than he was last fall, he’ll need a big season in his second year with Los Angeles.