Mantha gets the call, as Athanasiou sidelined with knee sprain

AP
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The Red Wings have recalled forward Anthony Mantha from AHL Grand Rapids.

Mantha gets the call after Andreas Athanasiou was forced to leave last night’s 3-1 win over the Canucks.  Athanasiou got leveled by Vancouver’s Russian giant, Nikita Tryamkin, in the first period. He did not return and is now expected to miss one or two weeks with a knee sprain, according to MLive’s Ansar Khan.

Athanasiou, 22, has four goals in 13 games, so his goal-scoring will be missed — unless Mantha can show something in the NHL, that is.

Mantha, the 20th overall pick in the 2013 draft, has eight goals in 10 games for the Griffins this season, and his production had been duly noted by the Wings’ brass.

But early this week when Thomas Vanek was placed on LTIR, it was Tyler Bertuzzi that the Wings recalled, not Mantha.

“I’ve had conversations with everybody involved that’s watched the team and they’re both playing excellent, they’re both playing really good hockey,” head coach Jeff Blashill said, per CBS Detroit. “We think they’re both real good prospects. As we talked about it, we debated it a little bit last night – ‘debated’ isn’t the right word – we discussed it last night, and we just decided this time we’re going to go with Bert.”

Vanek is not eligible to come off LTIR until Nov. 18, so this is a great opportunity for Mantha to show his stuff.

The Red Wings’ next game is Saturday in Montreal.

Related: Anthony Mantha is looking to make the leap