One question for the mailbag this week, but it’s a good one. As always, email us your questions using the widget on the side, and we will answer them in our mailbag.
Anthony asks: If Athanasiou were to leave the Red Wings for the KHL, how long do they maintain his rights? I think it makes sense to at least make an offer slightly above the compensation they would get for losing him on an offer sheet. Maybe there is a little more desperation to get something for him now, if they were to lose the rights in a year, versus 3 years (or however many).
I really like Athanasiou. Really really like him. If the Rangers have a legitimate opportunity to land him, they should. He’s criminally underutilized in Detroit, and would look really good on the third line for the Blueshirts.
How good is Athanasiou? For starts, he’s lightning fast. Probably gives Michael Grabner and Chris Kreider a run for their money. But despite the speed and the obvious skill (18-11-29 in 64 games last year), he was a mainstay on the fourth line for Detroit.
As it stands right now, Matt Puempel will be the 12F at the start of the season. That doesn’t include the injury to Jesper Fast, so that means the Rangers need another forward to start the season. That could be Lias Andersson, but that doesn’t provide much insurance. The Rangers still need someone else to really round out the depth.
Athanasiou is likely headed to a $2 million deal, but the Red Wings have no cap space at the moment. They have some smaller roster moves they can make, but it doesn’t bode well. They have some awful contracts, worse than the Rangers. They are certainly in a bind.
Athanasiou’s trade value is tough to gauge, but he’d certainly be a little pricey. His possession stats are rough, but Detroit has been a bad team for a little while now. In the right system, with that skill set, he’d likely improve on them. Either way, his speed is a weapon that many teams don’t have.
That said, I don’t want to have to type Athanasiou’s name all the time. That’s not fun to type."Mailbag: What about Andreas Athanasiou?",