Detroit Red Wings: Steve Yzerman wins the Andreas Athanasiou trade

(Jeff Vinnick via USA TODAY Sports)
(Jeff Vinnick via USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman officially won the Andreas Athanasiou trade.

During Steve Yzerman‘s tenure as the General Manager (GM) of the Detroit Red Wings, he has made some trades to accumulate draft picks and take on some investments that have worked out quite nicely. (Enter Robby Fabbri)

This past season, the Red Wings shipped off forward Andreas Athanasiou and defenseman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers, where former GM Ken Holland took back two of his former players. But, now that Athanasiou has signed with the Los Angeles Kings, it’s pretty clear Yzerman won the trade.

Athanasiou signed a one-year deal in the area of $1.2 million with the Kings after the Oilers opted not to extend a qualifying offer to the forward. The Oilers had originally traded Sam Gagner, and two second-round draft picks to the Red Wings in exchange for the all-purpose forward.

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The Oilers then had to choose if they were going to extend the qualifying offer to Athanasiou; this offer would have carried a $3 million offer that Holland obviously opted against that.

In 2019-20, Athanasiou spent nine games with the Oilers and was unavailable when the league started back up for the postseason.

In his nine-game stint with the Oilers, Athanasiou managed all of two points, one goal, and one assist, falling far short of expectations.

However, that is pretty on par for Athanasiou since he is one of the more up and down players this organization has had in past years.

The Oilers parted ways with Athanasiou, which was part one of Yzerman winning this trade, but when Athanasiou came to an agreement with the Kings, the victory of the trade became official.

This deal’s return may be future talent, but the trade was still a victory for the Detroit Red Wings.

The only current NHL player, the Detroit Red Wings, received in the trade was Sam Gagner, who has been buried on the third or fourth line. While Gagner is not amazing, no one expected him to be; he does his job in the bottom-six.

The real kicker in this trade was the two second-round draft choices. The 2020 NHL Entry Draft left the Red Wings with an extra second-round selection, the 45th selection to be exact. In a flurry of trades that Yzerman made on draft day, the Red Wings flip-flopped picks with the Los Angeles Kings.

So, in turn, the Red Wings turned that second-round pick into the draft choice that selected Theodor Neiderbach. He is now a member of the Swedish National Team that is playing in the World Junior Championships currently underway in Edmonton, Alberta.

Oddly enough, the whole trade kind of comes full circle, with the Kings and Red Wings making the draft-day deal and then also signing Athanasiou for the 2020-21 season. Not to mention, the Red Wings still have another draft choice from the Athanasiou trade in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

While Athanasiou will suit up in Los Angeles in 2020-21, the Oilers have nothing left to show for it in the trade, and the Red Wings have an exciting prospect in the form of Neiderbach plus another 2021 draft pick.

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This trade, or network of trades, is just another reason to love Steve Yzerman and his Yzerplan that is well underway for the Detroit Red Wings.