NHL Rumor Mill – August 24, 2017

by | Aug 24, 2017 | Rumors | 25 comments

Could Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou sign with a KHL team?

Latest on Andreas Athanasiou, David Pastrnak and Cody Franson in your NHL rumor mill.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton notes the recent reports of Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou getting a significant contract offer from a KHL team. The Wings want to re-sign the restricted free agent but currently sit above the salary cap by over $3 million.

They will get cap relief by placing sidelined forward Johan Franzen on long-term injury reserve but  can only do that at the start of the season. It won’t free up sufficient room to re-sign Athanasiou.

Clinton examines general manager Ken Hollands options. One is to call Athanasiou’s bluff in hopes the winger is simply using this KHL offer as a negotiating tactic to garner a better deal from the Wings. Another is to trade a salaried player, such as Jonathan Ericsson or Darren Helm, to free up sufficient cap space, provided Holland can navigate past their no-trade clauses and find any takers for their roughly $4 million salaries. Holland could also trade Athanasiou, who could attract interest from rival clubs. That, however, is a move the Wings GM could be reluctant to make.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Wings GM Ken Holland recently said he expected to deal with his cap overage during preseason. Khan believes the delay in Athanasiou’s new contact isn’t cap concerns, but rather because they don’t want to exceed the figure they have in mind for the winger so as to not disrupt their salary structure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Holland is betting Athanasiou will blink first in this stare down. The 23-year-old is coming off an entry-level deal so threatening to play overseas is the only real leverage he has with the cap-strapped Wings. I don’t believe the Wings GM seriously entertains the notion of trading the young winger, who could be seeking over $2 million annually on his next contract. 

Trading Ericsson or Helm is easier said than done and I don’t see many teams willing to take on either guy right now.  He could try to trade Riley Sheahan, who has a year remaining on his contract, lacks no-trade protection and has a more affordable $2 million cap hit. Another option could be demoting a player or two to clear sufficient room for Athanasiou once Franzen is placed on LTIR. 






  1. hey! Steve zerman do you want a job? needs to go!!!!!!

  2. How does a team that did not even make the play offs be in cap trouble ? Helm might be the best bet to move. Athansiou should be careful at least 3 from the depth chart could make the jump-Svechnikov and Bertuzzi being a couple of them

    • I agree, how are you spending $70+ million a year to finish near the bottom of the standings?

      I think we will see Chicago and Pitts in this situation in the next 5-7 years.

  3. Kucherov played really nice as did many Lightning players as they felt they were in grasp of drink from the Silver Chalice three Aprils ago, wanting to keep the team close to intact to make more runs.
    Unless he incurs a serious injury and he continues his production, he is gonna be the next 9-10 million dollar UFA, and teams will not be shy to go after him. I don’t think he will be giving TB any more hometown discounts.

  4. Athanasiou is the guy the Penguins should be trying to trade for to be their #3 centre.

    • 29 points in 64 games? Maybe 4C. Terrified of what we would have to give up for him considering the Wings couldn’t take salary back. Imagine him on a line with Hagelen and Rust though? The FTL line.

      • Is he going to get better as he develops over the next 3 seasons? He’s barely played, 101 NHL regular season games spread over 2 seasons, last season being his 1st full season & when he has played he’s seen 4th line minutes; 10th in TOI/GP for regulars at forward, & hasn’t even made the top 10 in PP TOI/GP.

        If given an opportunity he has far more to give as he develops. He hasn’t played C in Det nor will he anytime soon. This isn’t a 4th line player, just a young 1 paying his dues & developing. Difficult to determine what he might be in the future. Could have 2nd line abilities who knows really but judging him on limited to no NHL deployment is virtually meaningless.

      • Ok but I’m also not going to plug him in at centre on the third line when he has no experience. I have no problem trying him at centre because we don’t need him on the wing. But right now, even for a young player, his production is more bottom 6 than anything. And the Wings were not a good team last year so he had every opportunity to move up in the lineup.

  5. Just to toss out a possible topic for discussion, here’s a list of current UFAs not yet signed – which do you think will be the first to be offered a deal for the coming seasons

    Cody Franson – D – 30 y/o
    Brian Gionta – RW – 38 y/o
    Jiri Hudler – C – 33 y/o
    Jarome Iginla – RW – 40 y/o
    Jaromir Jagr – RW – 45 y/o
    Jay McClement – C – 34 y/o
    P.A. Parenteau – RW – 34 y/o
    Drew Stafford – RW – 31 y/o
    Thomas Vanek – LW – 33 y/o
    Daniel Winnik – C – 32 y/o
    Roman Polak – D – 31 y/o
    Chris Neil – RW – 38 y/o
    Alex Chiasson – RW – 26 y/o
    Andrew Desjardins – C – 31 y/o
    Dennis Wideman – D – 34 y/o
    Brooks Laich – C – 34 y/o
    John-Michael Liles – D – 36 y/o
    Teddy Purcell – RW – 31 y/o
    Rene Bourque – RW – 35 y/o
    R.J. Umberger – C – 35 y/o (Dallas try-out)
    Chris Kelly – C – 36 y/o (Ottawa try-out)
    Zbynek Michalek – D – 34 y/o

    • And which do you think will soon be announcing they are hanging them up?

      • I like the Stud Winnek for first signed. based on cheap contract, depth useful, etc.

      • Staffard. Then jagr will sign next. Iggy will retire.

    • I’ll go with Vanek being the first one signed. He probably has the most interest of anyone on that list. Chiasson, Hudler and Franson are probably close seconds.

      I think Neil, Iggy and Jagr are all retirement bound.

      • Cody Franson – should have had a contract long ago. Daniel Winnik can help a lot of teams too.

    • Stafford 1st signed, don’t care who the 1st to retire is, ideally most of them including Doan, Ha-ha!

    • Hearing a lot of Jagr to Calgary. Haven’t heard anything form a reliable source though.

      • Parenteau, since the 2010 season, has averaged 16 goals and 25 assists, and on that basis would seem to be the perfect 4th line RW who could fill in on occasion on the 3rd line. Other than that, I know squat about his “game” but he must have some serious 2-way hockey issues if those offensive stats have him constantly searching for a job

    • Franson 2 years 1.3 per

  6. If I’m Athanasiou I think back to Hudler making demands from Holland in the summer of 2009. He returned to the KHL for a season coming back for the money offered the previous summer on a 2 year bridge/show me deal.

    Detroit can solve their cap issues by moving Sheahan & his 2 mil & change cap issue. They wait until at least opening day to resign Athanisiou due to business reasons to maximize the LTIR space for Fransen.

    I don’t know what Anthanisiou thinks he’s worth but with only 2 limited seasons of NHL experience, zero leverage I would look to bridge at 2 years for no more than 1.5. He can take it or enjoy the KHL.

    • AA is most likely thinking he scored 17 goals while being held back to 11 minutes a night. Much like what Canucks fans seen Willy Desjardins hold Horvat back until he broke thru his ceiling.
      I admit I don’t know much about AA but watching clips of his junior days, time in minors and now in the show, he has worked his ass off to get where he is at. Has amazing wheels, isn’t afraid to go into dirty areas, will throw down when the time comes and has an incredible set of hands.
      Not a bad gem for a 4th/5th rounder.
      As for the offer sheet, I’m nOT naive enough to think anyone offer sheets anyone these days but I only stated that if I’m Benning, I’m doing it. Whatever the max is to go as high as only losing a 2nd rounder. If that’s 3.9 or 3.25, I don’t care, as this kid will grow into it.
      AA also fits the age group Benning is trying to build this team around. Ya we aren’t there yet but soon enough we will be.


  7. Canucks next 2 moves should be
    1)sign Horvat
    2)offer sheet Athanisiou 3.9mil for 6yrs


    That would be a sick line for many years

    Only cost a 2nd rnd pick

    Canucks have wasted 2nd rnd picks on dumber moves. This is one that justifies.

    • Not a chance they are paying AA 3.9 a season at this point. All UFA contracts are amortized over 5 years for the purposes of draft pick compensation so that 6 year deal would cost a 1st & 3rd. 3.9X 6=23.5, dived by 5=4.68.

      Good to have dreams but Vancouver isn’t offer sheeting anyone never mind AA & certainly not at almost 4 mil per.

      Enjoy Baertschi, Horvat & Boeser.

  8. If NHL GMs were to perceive that Athanasiou could be had in a trade, I wonder if that would cause the Avalanche to lower their asking price for Duchene. Teams that would use Atenasiou at center would probably be more inclined to deal for him than for Duchene at 3 times the cap hit.

  9. I would consider Toronto taking back Franson on a 2 year. I think he would be fine on the 3rd pairing with Marincin/Carrick, he is a right handed shot which is nice.

    • Yes.