Photo: Detroit Free Press
After the Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly were about to acquire forward Andreas Athanasiou and forward Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, the Red Wings sent him to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Sam Gagner two second-round picks.
The 25-year-old has is in the second year of a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $3 million. He can become a restricted free agent on July 1. The Red Wings will retain 10% of his cap hit for the remainder of the season.
Athanasiou has recorded 10 goals, 24 points, and an NHL-worst -45 rating in 46 games this season. In 294 career NHL games, all with the Red Wings, he has recorded 83 goals, 175 points, and a -75 rating.
With the addition of Athanasiou, the Oilers add some scoring depth to an offense that’s tied with the St. Louis Blues with an average of 3.16 goals-per-game. After center Leon Draisaitl (98 points) and captain Connor McDavid (84), their next highest-scorer, center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, has 49 points. Athanasiou might not be the big scorer that the Oilers need but he has potential and certainly helps the Oilers.
In five career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Athanasiou has scored one goal and has posted a +1 rating.
The Oilers are currently three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division with two games in hand.
The Red Wings, who are last in the NHL by 16 points, continue to rebuild after they traded defenseman Mike Green to the Oilers in exchange for center Kyle Brodziak and a conditional fourth-round pick earlier in the day.
The Oilers now have $2,972,500 left in cap space.
This hurts for a Blue Jackets team that could have used a boost up front as they are currently tied for the second wild-card spot in the East but have played two more games than the Carolina Hurricanes, who own that spot. After losing forward Artemi Panarin in free agency last July, they currently average 2.57 goals-per-game, the fifth-lowest in the NHL. They have until 3 PM ET to resolve this issue but have $25,521,169 left in cap space to do it.
By Harrison Brown