Red Wings should have considered a reunion with Andreas Athanasiou

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings should have considered a reunion with forward Andreas Athanasiou.

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou recently signed a one-year $1.2 million deal with the Los Angeles Kings.  The high-flying Woodbridge, Ontario native Athanasiou will bring an extra dynamic to a Kings team searching for secondary scoring to support their super-star center Anze Kopitar.

The former Red Wing should find himself in a top-six role in L.A. after failing to find himself in a similar role last season with the Edmonton Oilers.  The Kings rely on veteran players such as Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and Alex Iafallo to support Kopitar, leaving an opportunity for Athanasiou and another former Red Wings forward in Martin Frk to emerge offensively.

Athanasiou is a one-dimensional forward with scoring ability but has proven to be a defensive liability throughout his professional career.  Athanasiou is a career minus -76 player that produced an awful -46 rating last season between Detroit and Edmonton.  Andreas’ career 47.5 Corsi For Rating is less than desirable but still above Detroit’s team average of 45.8 just a year ago.

Understanding that the Detroit Red Wings have a plethora of cap space available heading into the 2021 season, general manager Steve Yzerman needed to entertain the thought of bringing back Athanasiou on a one-year deal to help bolster the teams’ top-six group of forwards.

If Athanasiou had been able to resurrect that 30 goal-scoring touch he once showed in Detroit, it would have left the door open for another trade come deadline day.  Yzerman may have been able to land yet another second-round pick or perhaps a first for Athanasiou’s services, in turn, doubling up on the trade from just a year ago.

Yzerman flipped the speedy forward to his old friend Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers with Ryan Kuffner in exchange for Sam Gagner and two second-round draft choices.

Related Story. Yzerman wins the Andreas Athanasiou trade. light

I understand not wanting to continue going back to the same well one too many times, but Athanasiou is just 26-years old and a bargain at just $1.2 million.  Athanasiou has produced 84 goals and 156 career points in 303 games over his first six NHL seasons.