Often when you have lengthy holdouts, fans have to wonder whether one of the big obstacles (besides money) is that the player doesn’t really want to play for the team he’s on, only creating a longer bridge towards finding a happy stalemate. Even after the holdout ends, often the player finds himself resenting the organization, which only creates more problems. Not so, however, with the Detroit Red Wings and recently signed forward Andreas Athanasiou, according to Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required).
The scribe writes that a conference call held earlier this week between Athanasiou, his agent Darren Ferris and Red Wings brass changed everything and was not just the critical step that helped end the stalemate, but helped show the 23-year-old center that the team really wanted him to return to the team, while the Red Wings understood Athanasiou’s reasons for asking for a trade.
“The philosophical stuff that was causing the desire to be traded was addressed,” Athanasiou’s agent Darren Ferris said. “I really think that call turned the bus around.”
After that phone call, the wheels of progress began to churn and a deal began to be chiseled out. Custance writes that Ferris said while only a one-year deal was struck, Athanasiou plans to prove himself to the Red Wings in hopes of getting a long-term deal with them for next year — in Detroit. Ferris says he wants to stay there.
- Mitch Melnick of The Athletic writes his Good, Bad and Ugly column about the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks last night, pointing fingers to Paul Byron and Victor Mete as the team’s top players lately. While that was the good, Melnick points out how bad that is too if those two are your best players. The 19-year-old Mete, who no one expected to make the Canadiens’ roster this year, has thrived on the team’s defense in his rookie campaign, while Byron is a 28-year old, whose best season saw him score 22 goals last year. Neither was expected to make a major impact. Catch all of Melnick’s commentary as it’s a good read.
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall tried stem-cell treatment for his bad knee. The 36-year-old blueliner revealed the information today after having played in his 800th career NHL game yesterday. He has been playing on a permanently damaged knee for the past two years and has been told that surgery would not help him. St. James writes that Kronwall wouldn’t go into specifics about what procedure he had undergone. “It’s a long process,” he said. “It is for another time to discuss.”
- Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, recently downgraded to the team’s fourth line, was quite positive about his demotion and has learned a lot from veteran Matt Martin, tweets Kristen Shilton of TSN. “You just want to go out there and help the team win,” Marner said. “If you don’t, then just be the guy on the bench that’s staying positive and helping the guys out. That’s what I’ve learned from Marty.”
- CapFriendly tweets that the site has confirmed that Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid has gone on LITR. The move gives the Bruins a $2.75MM salary relief pool. Boston can now exceed the cap by $2,654,209.