According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the long drawn-out negotiations between Andreas Athanasiou and the Detroit Red Wings look like they’re coming to an end. Friedman believes a one-year deal is most likely. As reported by Craig Custance of The Athletic recently, the Red Wings had slightly increased their one-year offer to Athanasiou in an attempt to get him playing again.
The final restricted free agent to sign this year, Athanasiou has been skating in Switzerland to stay in shape while the NHL season began. While the Red Wings had made one-year $1.25MM, and two-year $3.8MM offers there was still apparently in a divide in what Detroit, Athanasiou and agent Darren Ferris believed he was worth. After an 18-goal campaign, the speedster was poised to be given even more responsibility this season as an integral part of the offense.
Athanasiou was selected in the fourth round in 2012, but exploded offensively for the Barrie Colts before showing he could reproduce that skill at the professional level. In parts of three seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Athanasiou scored 51 points in 83 games before making the jump to the NHL. His 43 points in 101 NHL contests don’t jump off the page, but for a team like Detroit who is looking for youth and speed, Athanasiou was a shining star.
That shine was dulled a bit this summer when his holdout began, with many fans criticizing him for his decision to turn down several offers. Even as the latest restricted free agents started to sign, there was little word on why Athanasiou’s deal couldn’t get done. Last year we waited until early November on a Jacob Trouba holdout, before the Winnipeg Jets defenseman decided playing was the most important thing for his future. The 23-year old forward seems to have come to the same conclusion.