As if the recent revelation that forward Andreas Athanasiou was flirting with an offer from the KHL wasn’t enough for Detroit Red Wings fans bitter with their team’s management, this latest news certainly won’t help things.
Athanasiou’s agent Darren Ferris revealed in a text to MLive that there is a “considerable difference” in the amount of money being offered by the Red Wings and the KHL club – with the KHL club almost certainly offering significantly more.
“Andreas is evaluating the pros and cons of all the offers,” Ferris said. “Andreas loves Detroit and especially the Detroit fans but he has to really consider the serious offers from the KHL he has before him. There is a considerable difference in the amount of money.”
While this could merely be posturing on Athanasiou’s part, the enticing offer he’s receiving from Russia could spell trouble for the Red Wings, who are already up against the salary cap. Even if they are able to get Athanasiou re-signed to a new deal, they’ll still be over the cap limit – meaning GM Ken Holland would have to make another move to shed salary.
Injured forward Johan Franzen is expected to be placed on LTIR, which will lead to some cap relief.
Losing Athanasiou would be a significant blow for a team that’s already strapped for offensive talent. Last season, Athanasiou scored 18 goals to go with 11 assists in 64 games played. He’s emerged as one of hockey’s fastest skaters and has wowed the fans with some spectacular moments on the ice.
Of course, with that comes wanting to be compensated for it. It would certainly be hard for a young player to turn down what is almost certainly a hefty pay raise.