Detroit Red Wings forward, Andreas Athanasiou, has received a “considerable offer” from the KHL, according to his agent Darren Ferris.
Athanasiou, 23, is currently a Restricted Free Agent and with contract talks slow, it is believed that the KHL offer is being used to gain leverage in negotiations.
As a Group 2 Free Agent, he does not have arbitration rights under the CBA and so has very little leverage at present.
Any deal is likely to be problematic to the Red Wings given that they are extremely tight against the salary cap. Currently, they have the highest projected cap hit according to CapFriendly and are over by $3.9m. although Johan Franzen will be assigned to LTIR.
Red Wings GM, Ken Holland, will likely have to make some moves in order to give Athanasiou a fair deal. The situation raises further questions regarding Holland’s ability to manage a roster in the cap era. A number of lengthy, expensive contracts have hurt the Red Wings and look set to for the foreseeable future. Henrik Zetterberg confirmed this week that he is unlikely to see out his full contract, resulting in a cap recapture penalty should he retire.
It would be unfortunate to think that deals such as those handed to Justin Abdelkader ($4.25m through 2023), Frans Nielsen ($5.25M through 2022) and Danny DeKeyser ($5m through 2022) could cost the Red Wings one of their brightest young stars at a time when such talent is at a premium in Detroit.
Athanasiou had 18 goals and 11 assists last season, despite averaging just 13:28 ice-time per game. His speed and direct style caused no end of problems for opposing defenses and his hands lit up the highlight reel on more than one occasion.
Athanasiou Dekes Dubnyk For Game Winner
Athanasiou Goes Coast-To-Coast Against Penguins