Andreas Athanasiou Re-Signs with Detroit Red Wings

Andreas Athanasiou

Forward Andreas Athanasiou signed a one year, $1.387 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings. The deal comes after a protracted stalemate between the player and the club. Athanasiou has been practising in Switzerland during the dispute. He will be a restricted free agent again next summer. Athanasiou has spent the first 101 games of his career with the Detroit Red Wings.

Andreas Athanasiou Re-Signs with Detroit Red Wings

Athanasiou suffered a sprained knee in November that kept him out of game action for nearly a month, but he still finished a strong season playing 64 games. At just 23, he has much to prove to head coach Jeff Blashill. The Detroit bench boss hasn’t put much trust in him to this point, frequently citing him (and it seems like only him sometimes) as one to be “not good enough” and it’s shown with the occasional healthy scratch and benching. Management seems to agree with the assessment, as the long stalemate on the proper contract value shows.

The London, Ontario native, selected in the fourth round (110th overall) in the 2012 Entry Draft, was cited as one of the fastest, if not the fastest player in major junior hockey at one point, and it came to full fruition with the Barrie Colts. In his two seasons after being drafted, he scored 78 goals and 162 points in 132 games. His first professional season with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2014-15 saw him score 16 goals and 32 points in just 55 games. In 2015-16 in a 37-game stint with Detroit to begin his NHL career, he scored nine goals and 14 points.

Last Year

This past season was his first full campaign in the NHL, and he was a frequent “out-of-your-seat” type of player, scoring five of his 18 goals on a breakaway as well as a candidate  for goal of the year against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. In total he had 29 points utilizing that blazing speed, but, to Blashill’s point, did show some defensive inconsistency that resulted in a 54.45 Corsi-against per 60 minutes. However, he was one of the few Red Wings that provided electricity and, most importantly, finish in quite a dismal season. He will be a key weapon up front for Detroit for as long as he has that speed and finishing ability.

This is Athanasiou’s first contract since signing his entry-level deal in 2013. He had an entry-level slide in what would have been the first year of the pact.

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