DETROIT – Andreas Athanasiou is considering a move to the KHL, his agent Darren Ferris confirmed to ClickOnDetroit.
Ferris confirmed via text message the Detroit Red Wings forward "received a significant offer" to play in the KHL.
Athanasiou is a restricted free agent with the Red Wings right now. The 23-year-old forward needs a new contract after his entry-level one expired this offseason. Negotiations with Detroit have been ongoing all summer.
The Red Wings are facing cap issues and might need to make a trade or let Athanasiou walk if they can't figure out a deal with him. The speedy forward has scored 27 goals and 16 assists for 43 points in 101 games with the Red Wings over the past two seasons. He averaged just 9:54 in ice time this past season.
There is no denying Athanasiou is one of the most exciting young forwards on the Red Wings. His speed is unmatched most games and he has a knack for finding the back of the net. He's likely a top-six forward on a lot of NHL teams.
Which begs the question: How likely is it Athanasiou actually accepts an offer from a KHL team? Not that likely.
Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski puts it this way:
"We’d be shocked if this wasn’t posturing, shocked if Athanasiou plays in the KHL next season, shocked if he’s not back with the Red Wings as a dollar amount that’s friendlier to the team. But then we’re also shocked that a 33-win team has $78 million on its cap for next season, so really anything’s possible."