Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou is reportedly considering a move to the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.
According to NBC Sports, Athanasiou may be on his way to play in the Russian top flight for a season. The 23-year-old forward is currently in contract negotiations with the Red Wings as the two parties have yet to reach an agreement.
With the season drawing ever closer, the need to get this deal done is going to become more important. Athanasiou is certainly a player the Wings don’t want to lose for the upcoming season.
In the 2016-17 season, the Canadian native put up 29 points in 64 appearances. His quick skating ability and stickhandling ability as made him one of the most exciting young players to watch on the Wings roster.
An important thing to remember here is that if Athanasiou does indeed head to Europe to play in the KHL, the Red Wings would still retain his rights if he came back the following season to play in the National Hockey League.
The Wings will likely be over the salary cap if or when Athanasiou signs a new contract.
In reality, this deal probably won’t happen but it definitely isn’t out of the realm of possibility. As mentioned earlier Athanasiou would still be a member of the organization upon returning from his stint in Russia. He could make an unconventional move there to improve his game and get more ice time.
With a key season coming up for Athanasiou, it probably wouldn’t be in his best interest to head to the KHL on a short term deal. He still has room to grow and can make a statement this season with consistent offensive production.
What do you think about Athanasiou’s possible move to Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.