Andreas Athanasiou is back. The 23-year old forward that has spent the last few weeks holding out for a new contract, was on the ice for the Detroit Red Wings today, practicing with Frans Nielsen and Darren Helm. While there’s no clear indication when Athanasiou will get back into the lineup, it was a promising sign to have him working with the team.
After a summer that was filled with speculation, rumor and intrigue, the Red Wings will welcome back their talented young sniper. Athanasiou has excellent speed and skill, and had just scratched the surface of his offensive potential last season, scoring 18 goals and 29 points. That number could increase this year even with the lost time, especially if given plenty of powerplay opportunities. The Red Wings, now losers of five straight, could use some offensive punch. They’ve scored just one goal in their last two games.
- Harri Sateri has been sent back to the AHL by the Florida Panthers, after the team claimed Antti Niemi off waivers yesterday. The 27-year old Sateri didn’t get into a game, and has a slow start in his return to North America. Originally a draft pick of the San Jose Sharks, Sateri left for the KHL in 2014 where he found immediate success. Earlier this summer he turned down an extension with his KHL club in order to try and secure and NHL job, and eventually signed a two-way deal with Florida to essentially be their #3. With a .859 save percentage in the AHL, and now Niemi in the fold, he’ll have to play better if he wants to get a crack at a full-time NHL role (even as a backup) down the road.
- Shane Doan has found the next chapter in his NHL career, as Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that the former Arizona Coyotes’ captain will join the league’s Hockey Operations group. Working with Colin Campbell, Doan will follow the path set out by other former players like Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake. Shanahan and Blake of course are now running franchises in Toronto and Los Angeles.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have made quite a few moves over the years to get their core group under the salary cap, but perhaps never so many as this offseason. The team saw Artemi Panarin, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Scott Darling all leave through trade, Brian Campbell retire and of course Marian Hossa kept out with a chronic skin condition. That’s a lot of talent to have leave in one offseason, but as GM Stan Bowman tells Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, he’s pretty happy with how it’s turned out. Chicago is 5-3-2 so far this season, but on most nights still look like a team that could compete for the Stanley Cup. In terms of improvement, Chicago doesn’t have to make a deal, as they have talented players sitting in the press box or AHL most nights. Or, as Bowman puts it: “I’m not, like, itching to make a trade.”