The Detroit Red Wings have been dealing with an injury bug to their skill players, but Andreas Athanasiou is returning from injury and could be a possible trade chip.
First up is Andreas Athanasiou, who is probably the best player that Yzerman should be considering moving at the trade deadline. Currently out injured, Athanasiou will return to the Red Wings within the next two to three weeks. Andreas is one of the Red Wings few skill players who could be sacrificed for the future of the organization and development of the prospects.
On the season, Athanasiou had played in thirty-six games for the Red Wings, totaling five goals and fourteen assists for nineteen points. Even worse, Athanasiou is a minus-35 rating on the season, which is not ideal whatsoever. The Red Wings may be a little reluctant to move their star players, but Athanasiou is the one big-name player who they could trade.
Next offseason, the Red Wings will have Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Andreas Athanasiou as big-name forwards who are restricted, free agents. The Red Wings will not be able to hang onto all of the restricted free agents, not just these big names players, and Athanasiou seems like the easiest of the pills to swallow for the three listed above. Mantha and Bertuzzi will both be due for nice raises, and Athanasiou will most likely be tough to bring back.
The way it seems, if Yzerman can get a good package, a top draft pick, or a prospect for Athanasiou, it should be a no brainer.
Making this swap would be beneficial in adding to the draft pick surplus for this year as well as possibly strengthening the minor league system. The twenty-five-year-old should be shopped by Yzerman, and hopefully, a contending team will bite and make an offer Yzerman cannot refuse.