Detroit Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman has reportedly made his second deal of the trade deadline after moving Andreas Athanasiou.
The 2020 NHL Trade Deadline is inching closer and closer, and now the Detroit Red Wings have reportedly moved forward Andreas Athanasiou to the Edmonton Oilers. This is Yzerman’s second deal of the trade deadline after trading veteran defenseman Mike Green to former GM Ken Holland over in Edmonton last night. The Oilers were in a bidding war with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were immediately the favorites to land Athanasiou as it was reported. Still, it became Holland and the Oilers who jumped in and got the trade done.
The Oilers are acquiring Athanasiou after outbidding the Blue Jackets; they will be sending two second-round picks and Sam Gagner back over to the Detroit Red Wings. Yzerman did a great job of making sure that he added to the stockpile of draft picks in exchange for the players whom he has given up at this year’s trade deadline. Adding two second-round picks for an expiring contract, which was rumored to want out in the past, is a solid move for the Red Wings.
In the 2019-20 season, Athanasiou has registered forty-six games after missing some time with an injury, tallying ten goals and fourteen assists for twenty-four points. Athanasiou will provide an added offensive boost to an Oilers team who just got Connor McDavid back from the injured reserve in their last contest. The team is being carried offensively by McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who are both having phenomenal seasons, and adding some more scoring from Athanasiou will be even better for the Oilers who are looking to make a splash in the playoffs.
The only downside to Athanasiou is his lack of defense, possessing a minus-forty-five rating on the season. Athanasiou is a liability defensively, but the offensive prowess that he can add to a team like the Oilers should be exceptional for them as they are a quick group of forwards. Being that Athanasiou is a speedy forward who can make plays, especially transitioning into the offensive zone, he fits well with the Oilers’ young core of forwards.
The Red Wings would also sacrifice prospect forward Ryan Kuffner, who is headed to the Oilers as a part of the trade. Kuffner signed with the Red Wings last year after a successful season for the Princeton University Tigers, he will now join the Oilers system. Holland also sends Gagner over to the Red Wings, who is an expiring unrestricted free agent that will hit the market this offseason.
Gagner played in thirty-six games in 2019-20 with five goals and seven assists for twelve points for the Oilers. he will join the Detroit Red Wings core of forwards, most likely jumping into a top-six role as a right-handed shooting center.
He will simply add to the lineup for the remainder of the year and the team will then part ways with him, the picks are the central part of this trade and are a substantial addition for the Red Wings.