DETROIT – Andreas Athanasiou and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed to a 1-year contract.
That's according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
DET and RFA forward Andreas Athanasiou have agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $1.387M.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 20, 2017
Athanasiou, 23, needed to sign somewhere in the NHL before Dec. 1, which is the deadline for any restricted free agent who remains without a contract. Otherwise he would have had to seek out another league or start training for the Olympic games.
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. There is a rumor that the Pittsburgh Penguins would be interested in trading for center Riley Sheahan, which would free up the necessary cap space for signing Athanasiou in Detroit.
Contract can't be signed/filed with league yet as DET would not be cap compliant so expect a move or two to come in near future.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 20, 2017
Short term solution to get AA in lineup for DET is demote a player or two to AHL but Wings will likely make a trade at some point— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 20, 2017
AA is still in Switzerland. Will be returning home to TOR, packing up and going to DET. Could be practising in DET by early to mid next week— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 20, 2017
DET and PIT were reportedly close to a Riley Sheahan trade in off-season. Nothing imminent or assured there right now, though.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 20, 2017
Not saying a Sheahan to PIT deal couldn't be revived but PIT is exploring multiple options to get a depth centre so anything is possible.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 20, 2017
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.
It was way back on Sept. 14 when NHL insider Darren Dreger reported Athanasiou 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.
It's been a long stalemate which basically started last year.