Restricted free agent forward Andreas Athanasiou is ending his holdout, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the Red Wings.
DET and RFA forward Andreas Athanasiou have agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $1.387M.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 20, 2017
As McKenzie notes, the deal has yet to be signed as that would start a 24-hour countdown before the Red Wings would have to be cap-compliant. Detroit does not currently have space under the salary cap for Athanasiou’s new deal, so they’ll have to make a move to fit him in.
During the preseason there was rumored to be a deal in place between the Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins to send Riley Sheahan to Pittsburgh for defenseman Derrick Pouliot and a draft pick. Pittsburgh instead dealt Pouliot to the Vancouver Canucks.
Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser is currently injured. Theoretically he could go on long-term injured reserve to clear room under the cap, but that would require him to miss ten games and his injury doesn’t seem to be bad enough to necessitate that.
Another option could be trading a defenseman to a team with injury trouble, such as the Washington Capitals or Boston Bruins, but it would have to be part of a bigger deal as Detroit would have to replace the defenseman lost via trade, which wouldn’t help the cap situation (though it would ease the blue line logjam).
Athanasiou will not join the team immediately. He will return from Switzerland, where he’s been training, and will need to acquire a work visa.
The one-year deal means that Athanasiou will be a restricted free agent again next summer, though he will have arbitration rights that he did not have leading up to this deal.