MLive’s Ansar Khan filed a mailbag column this morning, and Khan suggests that Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou is not an untouchable commodity looking toward this summer:
From my understanding, the Red Wings were open to trading anyone on their current roster at the deadline except Henrik Zetterberg, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi, who they like because of his competitiveness and the different dimension he brings.
Athanasiou was not in that “unavailable” category but they were hesitant to move him and would have only done so for a good, young defenseman.
I don’t know if the Jets will try to move Trouba or if they’d be interested in Athanasiou, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Red Wings looked to trade Athanasiou in the off-season or next season.
I wouldn’t have thought that a year ago because his elite speed and finishing ability are at such a premium, especially for a team that struggles to score, and he has so much upside. But his compete level wasn’t good enough on many nights — he was called out multiple times by coach Jeff Blashill and once by Henrik Zetterberg (though not by name) — and you wonder if that will change.
Athanasiou is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, which he lacked last summer, and is coming off a contract with a $1.387 million cap hit. If he doesn’t file, the team can file, and that would assure him of having a contract by early August. Getting him signed shouldn’t be a problem this year. He’s not going to play in Russia. That was a negotiating ploy by his agent.