The Detroit Red Wings and restricted free-agent forward Andreas Athanasiou have been unable to come to terms on a new contract for this season, and that has led to the young forward traveling overseas to Switzerland to assess his playing options while things are worked out back in North America.
According to Craig Custance of The Athletic, the Red Wings have slightly increased their offer to Athanasiou during a phone conference with him and his agent. The exact amount that is being currently offered wasn't made public.
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.
With the team in Toronto on Wednesday, Red Wings GM Ken Holland reportedly met with Athanasiou's agent to discuss the matter further.
With 22 players on the roster, someone would have to be moved out to accommodate Athanasiou if and when he returns as they are already up against the salary cap. The team has gotten off to a 4-3 start following losses to the divisional rival Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning this week, and while the offense has looked decent thusfar, the explosive speed and playmaking abilities Athanasiou provided last year would be a welcome presence.
At just 23 years of age, Athanasiou has yet to enter his prime, which holds tremendous potential if what we've already seen from him is any indication. The Red Wings would be best served securing his spot on their roster, and the sooner, the better.