Mailbag: What about Andreas Athanasiou?

Andreas Athanasiou
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

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?", 5 out of 5 based on 11 ratings.
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  1. I will call him AA. He is another PK weapon, and a 3rd/4th line weapon with some skill. Might allow us to fly out of the zone if our defense now learns the stretch pass. If memory serves, he also plays with an edge. Not a bad addition if we cannot find a center.

    Dave – what do you think about the Travers City roster?

    1. I highly doubt this would ever come into reality when the Rangers have guys like Boo in the shadows.

      1. Fox sport go app only has final day listed for streaming, will likely have to stream Fox sports Detroit website

        1. And Fox sports Detroit is only streaming Wings games: Rangers on Sept. 11, 7pm

    1. Red Wings website your best bet apparently.

      I’m in TC, wondering where to post updates, thinking about using the roster announcement from a week ago as a landing spot. The rink’s wifi sorta sucks and cell reception is in one spot at the front of the building.

  2. I bet JG won’t go for it, remember Boo is still in play to get a 4th line role or a 12F spot. I’ve been watching the 2016 pre season games and that kid has some serious skills to offer.

    1. Boo was also drafted 5 years ago & hasn’t been able to stay healthy in any league. He has had lingering concussion issues his whole career.

      The situation with him reminds me of Mike Sauer.

    2. I’m sure JG checked in on Athanasiou, but the price is likely prohibitive. I imagine a 2018 1st is only a starting point in trade talks. AA is relatively cheap, can play a middle six role, has 38 even strength points in his first 103 NHL games, and he’s only 23.

      Detroit losing AA to the KHL for two rebuilding years isn’t the end of the world for them. Sure, they lose the ability to cash in an asset for the next 2 or 3 years, but Detroit is in the worst cap situation in the league. Being able to retain a veteran asset without using cap space is a gift for the Wings.

  3. Certainly something to think about. There is simply no way the Rangers are going into training camp this thin at forward. With Fast hurt, Andersson unproven, and Puempel not someone AV is eager to play, the Rangers begin the season with only ten locks at forward. Yes, Andersson and Nieves may be nice options for the last three slots, but you want alternatives in case they don’t work out. Last year, there were lots of guys like Hrivik, Jensen, Jooris in the mix. Eighteen of the 20 forwards the Rangers used last year were in camp. I’d hate to see 18 guys from the present camp in a Ranger uniform THIS YEAR.

    1. It almost makes you wish the Rangers tendered and signed Pirri.

      Emphasis on the ‘almost’

      Looking at the other 18 names Ray brought up, the only other two that could have come back and are remotely interesting are Jensen and Hrivik. Hrivik wasn’t coming back as he didn’t see a future here and Jensen fled for guaranteed playing time overseas. That’s what’s tough about being a good team, it’s very difficult to find quality depth due to the lack of clear opportunities you can offer.

      Bottom line is the Rangers really need Boo, Fogarty, and Tambo to show they can at least be replacement level at the NHL.

      1. While I think it is great to give these kids a chance, it is a lot to ask that 3 kids who barely have 4 games between them at the NHL level can be NHL replacements if an injury happens in camp of the first few weeks of the season. None of them have the pedigree, but the do deserve a chance.

        1. “t is a lot to ask that 3 kids who barely have 4 games between them at the NHL level can be NHL replacements if an injury happens in camp of the first few weeks of the season. None of them have the pedigree”


          It’s incredibly unlikely that even one of the three ‘makes it’ as a Ranger.

          Fogarty has done little to nothing to show he belongs on the 4th line, Tambo still needs more seasoning in the AHL, and with Boo, it’s for reasons which were previously mentioned.

      2. It isn’t that I want to see Pirri, Jooris, Jensen, Hrivik. I’d like to see this year’s version of players like them – guys who (worst case) wouldn’t be terrible if we had to play them and (best case) might actually fit well into AV’s system.

        I wouldn’t have brought Pirri back, but he was a good signing. He had real potential and, while he didn’t pan out, was at least a credible player.

        To some extent, Schneider, Carey, Catenacci, Farnham are attempts to fill this void, but there is little upside here and I doubt more than two ever play for the Rangers.

        1. I get that, and that was the point I was trying to make … veteran players, or more accurately, well known depth options, don’t want to come to NY to fight Matt Puempel for 13F. The Rangers, when fully healthy, have a clear cut group of 12 forwards. There are no vets out there making close to the league minimum that are displacing Andersson (he’s making the team), Buch, Vesey, Fast, or Grabner from the lineup.

          You’re right Ray, Schneider, Carey, Catenacci, and Farnham, are going to be the org depth at forward. But it’s not so bad, look at the motley crew the Rangers have used for depth the last four seasons: Pyatt, Carcillo, Powe, Sheppard, Malone, Mueller, Stoll, Paille, Megna, Bourque, Glass, Pirri, Jooris and Hrivik. These were all players that could safely be called has beens or never will bes. Pirri and Jooris are likely going to be out of the NHL after this season as well.

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