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Report: Andreas Athanasiou, Red Wings at 'standstill' in contract talks

Forward without contract days ahead of season opener

Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings tries to control the puck while being defended by Nate Prosser of the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Joe Louis Arena on March 26, 2017 in Detroit. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings tries to control the puck while being defended by Nate Prosser of the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Joe Louis Arena on March 26, 2017 in Detroit. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Andreas Athanasiou still doesn't have a contract while we're just two days away from the Detroit Red Wings starting the 2017-18 season on Wednesday at Little Caesars Arena. 

It was way back on Sept. 14 when NHL insider Darren Dreger reported the 23-year-old forward was working on a 1-or-2-year deal with the Red Wings. That was just weeks after Athanasiou's agent said his client received a "significant offer" from Russia's KHL. 

Now it's Oct. 1 and all is quiet. TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted Sunday that the two parties appear to be at a "standstill."

Athanasiou 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. 

As a restricted free agent, Athanasiou must receive a qualifying offer from the Red Wings, which he reportedly has. If he rejects that offer he still remains a restricted free agent and can accept another offer. But the Red Wings can match it, and rarely do teams lose RFAs to offer sheets.  

The worse case scenario for the Red Wings would be losing a player like Athanasiou to a league such as the KHL and not to another NHL team. They would be compensated if he went to another NHL team. 

The Red Wings are reportedly facing cap space issues -- as in they don't have enough money to offer a young winger a generous contract deal. If this is all about the dollar amount, Detroit might be looking to make a trade and clear some space for Athanasiou's contract. 

Meanwhile, he missed the preseason (crucial conditioning games) and the season is set to start in two days. 

Red Wings schedule:

October

5 Thu. MINNESOTA -- Little Caesars Arena -- 7:30
7 Sat. at Ottawa -- Canadian Tire Centre -- 7:00
10 Tue. at Dallas -- American Airlines Center -- 8:30
12 Thu. at Arizona -- Gila River Arena -- 10:00
13 Fri. at Vegas -- T-Mobile Arena -- 10:30
16 Mon. TAMPA BAY -- Little Caesars Arena -- 7:30
18 Wed. at Toronto -- Air Canada Centre -- 7:30
20 Fri. WASHINGTON -- Little Caesars Arena -- 7:30
22 Sun. VANCOUVER -- Little Caesars Arena -- 7:00
24 Tue. at Buffalo -- KeyBank Center -- 7:00
26 Thu. at Tampa Bay -- Amalie Arena -- 7:30
28 Sat. at Florida -- BB&T Center -- 7:00
31 Tue. ARIZONA -- Little Caesars Arena -- 7:30

VIEW: Full 2017-18 Detroit Red Wings schedule


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