NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2017

by | Aug 29, 2017 | Rumors | 35 comments

Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou is mulling offers from the Wings and a KHL team.

Updates on the Detroit Red Wings and the latest on Cody Franson in your NHL rumor mill.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports agent Darren Ferris, who represents Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou, said contract discussions with the club are ongoing but a deal isn’t imminent. He also said the KHL offer his client received remains on the table and he’s expecting a decision later this week.

Khan believes a two-year bridge deal between $1.5 – $2 million per season with the Wings is a possibility. Athanasiou is a restricted free agent who lacks arbitration rights and could be using the KHL offer as leverage in his talks with the Wings.

In a recent mailbag segment, Khan suggested former Wing and current unrestricted free agent forward Thomas Vanek could be an option  on a one-year contract if Athanasiou bolts for the KHL. He notes the Wings will have to clear some salary-cap space “by trading or waiving a player, unless someone with a relatively substantial cap hit, besides Johan Franzen, has a long-term injury.”

Khan doesn’t see the Pittsburgh Penguins being interested in Wings center Frans Nielsen or Darren Helm, as they’re carrying too much money and term on their contracts. He also doubts the Wings will bring back unrestricted free agent center Drew Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Athanasiou heads to the KHL, the Wings could be forced to move fast to sign Vanek. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks are believed to have interest in the veteran winger.

The Wings’ salary-cap issues (they’re $3 million above the $75 million salary cap) are the reason why Athanasiou remains unsigned. It’ll be interesting to see what the young winger decides. If he does go to Russia, the Wings still retain his NHL rights, but they’ll miss his speed and his scoring potential this season. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet as to which club Franson could sign with for the upcoming season. There was a report last month suggesting he could sign a professional tryout offer with the Chicago Blackhawks. 



  1. The cap has a very small part in Athanasiou not being signed. The bigger issue is maintaining a reasonable salary coming out of ELC. Mantha and Larkin will be in same situation next summer, both are better players than AA, so this contract will be the starting point and low end of their negotiations.

  2. He signs with the Red Wings. No brainer.

  3. Vanek signing with the Canucks makes perfect sense in Jim Bennings retool/rebuild can’t make a decision management style. More of the same old sign a veteran to make a playoff run or stockpile picks for a rebuild. No wonder the Canucks are a disaster.

    • Nothing wrong with signing Vanek. They can trade him for a 2nd/3rd at the deadline based on an average season from him.
      This would absolutely be the right thing to do at no asset cost.

      • Jim Benning, Marc Bergevin and Ken Holland are the worst GMs in the NHL. You can select the order but they are all horrid and the way Chiarelli is spending the Oilers into cap hell you can soon add his name to the list.

      • How can Holland be on that list. 20 years as the GM in Detroit, 19 playoff appearances & 3 cup wins. That’s a pretty impressive resume. The extra income earned for the Ilitch’s from all those playoff appearances would be significant, into 9 figures as in the 100’s of millions…

        No team has more playoff wins in those 20 years, it’s not even close. Chicago & Pit are the only other 2 teams in that time frame to have won 3 cups.

        Holland may be past his best before date but he’s also 1 of the greatest GM’s of all time.

      • It’s Ron dull striker he still thinks the oilers are from Houston

      • As a big time and long time Hawks fan, I wish holland sucked as a GM maybe we would have 4 cups in the last 10 years, But he has done a great job of running a team in the last 20 years, ask Colorado fans (lol) but to say he has done a bad job you must have missed the last 19 years.

      • I like Holland, but his recent track record isn’t too good. We live in a “what have you done for me lately” world. He’s not pulling core players out of the later rounds anymore.

        He is also signing guys to bloated contracts, like Helm – which makes the players untradeable and burden to the team I’d take Nielsen on my team anytime.

        I think Vanek’s value is fading, a 2nd rounder for him at the deadline is abit much.

  4. AA has tremendous speed and skill, however he lacks an overall game. There could be a hesitation to sign him knowing these variables. If you look at AA’s ice time last year he was underutilized in the season but produced points even in limited situations. The cap however is the problem. Had Holland had the room he would be signed already and this would be a non issue. Personally i would have tried to move Tatar and use AA in his place, but even Tatar has been underutilized. It will be an interesting couple of years for the Wings.

    • The cap is not a factor as to why he is not signed. It’s not like they are trying to fit him in with whars left.

  5. I am not sure why Holland has a job! He has been one of the worst managers over the last few years. Once again signing over the hill veterans and/or 3rd liners to lucrative deals. Daley is a prime example!

  6. Holland must have naked pictures of somebody in upper management. It has to be the only reason he is still employed.

    • Or, he does what the owner wants.

  7. Holland is definitely living off the pedigree he built under previous CBA`s. It appears he didn`t know how to manage the cap when he couldn`t sign the super long contracts to minimize the cap hits like with Zetterberg, Franzen, Kronwall and Datsyuk.

    Added to that, he has massively overpaid average players with salary and term, which has crippled their cap. Abdelkader, Helm, Nielsen, Ericsson and even DeKeyser are all overpaid and their contracts were at least two years too long.

    I can`t think of a trade Holland has won the last few years either, and his cap mismanagement cost him Chychrun in the Datsyuk trade. They could really use a defenseman like Chychrun right now as their defense is one of the weeker defenses in the league. Not Colorado or New Jersey bad, but still bad. I guess we`ll see how Cholowski turns out in a few years, but at this point, I`d rather have Chychrun and it`s not even close.

    • Hands down there is no better GM than Poile. With the trades he’s made in addition to the deals he signs his players to, you can argue that he is the best GM in the game today. He was forced to over pay for ryjo but he nor than made up for it in the Arvidsson deal along with signing jarnkrok to that ridiculous 6 year , 12 mim deal…that was a stroke of genius, not to mention the subban deal…and of course Forsberg! WOW

      • ….the list goes on and on…the ellis, Josi and ekholm deals!!! He recognizes great talent and locks them up cheap!

      • Poile is so great that he’s never won a thing in 30 + years besides one WCF.

        I like Poile, but…c’mon.

        Future HOF’er and three time Cup champion/two time defending Cup champion Jimmy Rutherford says hello.

    • Holland turned the 16th pick in 2016 into the 20th & 53rd picks in 2016. He moved down 4 spots in the draft & got a 2nd round pick to dump Datsyuk’s cap hit on Arz. That seems like a win for Detroit for me.

      That said Holland is past his best before date. He has struggled to adapt to the cap world. Sooner or later all teams need to rebuild in some way. Detroit’s just come to that realization I believe.

      • Yeah, on paper Detroit fleeced Arizona on that deal. Kudos to Chyka for making that bold deal and recognizing that Chychrun was worth that price.
        Nicely done by both GMs IMO

  8. Detroit did just miss the playoffs last season for the 1st time in 25 years. That was quite an accomplishment in the modern era not to mention a ton of revenue.

    Picking that late in the draft that often & staying in the leagues upper echelons for over 2 decades winning 3 cups as GM of Detroit will cut you some slack with ownership.

    Father-time finally caught up with Detroit.

    • More of a testament to the great scouting staff.

      • & who hired them? For the 7 years before becoming GM he was Detroit’s Director of Scouting, the years before that since retiring from playing he was a scout for Detroit since 85. Wining his 4th cup as director of scouting the year before assuming the GM’s role.

        The GM has the final say on all hockey decisions in Detroit’s management model.

        You’ll get to argument from me that the game seems to have passed Holland by but that doesn’t tarnish what has been 1 of the greatest management careers ever in the NHL.

        He has kind of played the hand success has dealt him. Being that successful has made getting quality talent out of the draft virtually impossible.,

        Look at most serious contenders in the NHL today. Which 1’s are built not having a top 3 pick on their roster? Hell which 1’s are built not having a 1st overall selection? Few to none.

        Having managed to maintain so much success over such a long time frame picking that late in the 1st round repeatedly is quite an accomplishment.

      • Arguing that Holland is a brutal GM makes no sense to me. It is obvious he is one of the best by Strikers post which states his resume well and if you have doubts listen to a very good GM in Yzerman who was mentored by Holland.
        In a cap world success causes the exact problems that Detroit is having. Pay them or lose them. We can all point to bad signings in hindsight but I imagine it is hard to walk from players that won you cups and trying to win another one.
        You’re correct Striker, 1 team has one the cup without a top 3 pick on their team in the last 20 years. Carolina.

      • Not quite true, Ray, they had Eric Staal (No. 2 pick).

  9. Rutherford had Crosby and mallkin++ to work with. He made some tweaks here and there. He was run out of Carolina as he was a disaster toward the end of his tenure there.

    • Just so happen that he invests in the right pieces and has won two cups to show for it. That’s not luck, that’s good GM-ing.

    • Rutherford won a cup in 2006 and lost in the 2002 finals with Carolina. Name all of the other active GM’s that have been to 4 Stanley Cup finals and won three.

      • Name all the GM’s who started with a Crosby/Malkin/MAF? None
        Hardly a masterful job & he gets all the credit.

        Even S Bowman inherited most of his roster.

  10. Rumours of Vanek going to the wings…another great signing by Holland 🙂

    • Another?
      I don’t recall his last one lol

  11. Wtf Andreas A should eat a lousy contract cuz of Hollands cap mess is astounding. The Wings cap hell is their own doing & its not going away anytime soon nor easily.

  12. Lidstrom 20 year career Yzerman’s 20 year career both had something to do with the success of the franchise during their era.

    • Yesteryear & old news.
      What has Holland done lately?

      Stevie Y on the other hand tons.

  13. Hockey like other sports has the team with the best player/s win far mord often. It isnt as pronounced as in basketball but it is true to hockey.

    Edmonton will win a cup. MacDavid will become the leagies bestcplayer as Crosby declines.

    Gm’s can often get lucky winning drafts like edmonton has and pittsburg had.