Red Wings Sign Andreas Athanasiou

Red Wings nearing deal with holdout Andreas Athanasiou

The Red Wings and holdout free agent Andreas Athanasiou were nearing agreement on a new contract Friday, a source confirmed. While the deal comes with only a one-year term, it's essentially an opportunity for the Red Wings to continue developing their young prospect while pushing the contract discussions down the road for the time being. Despite now holding a 4-3 record and sitting in 15th place in the National Hockey League - good for the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference - it's unlikely that the Red Wings make the playoffs this year.

Several members of the Red Wings organization were also reportedly present on the call, which was to explain the reasoning behind the one and two-year offers and where they see him fitting inside the organization. MLive reported that Athanasiou had been contemplating offers to play in Russia's KHL since late August.

Athanasiou, who scored 18 goals last season, did not appear for training camp or the start of the season while negotiating with the Wings.

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According to CapFriendly, the Red Wings have $0 in cap space with 22 players on their 23-man roster. He finished second on the Red Wings in even strength goals (17) in 2016-17 and tallied a pair of overtime winners. The contract, though more than doubled from his entry level deal, will act as a bridge for the Red Wings to get Athanasiou back in the fold. Athanasiou made $575,000 with a cap hit of $628,333 last season, but after the Red Wings refused to meet his asking price, he explored other options, including playing overseas. The Red Wings outshot the last two opponents, but went 0-for-9 combined on the power play and allowed nine goals, including six against Toronto on Wednesday as goaltender Jimmy Howard was pulled after allowing three goals on the first four Maple Leafs shots.

Through seven games, the Red Wings are 4-3 and enter the weekend off back-to-back losses.

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