Red Wings still have work to do with Tatar, Athanasiou; Vanek?

Getty Images
22 Comments

Much of the NHL seems to be in something like a “vacation mode,” but not the Detroit Red Wings.

GM Ken Holland still has work to do, with some tasks being more optional and others standing as more urgent.

In the most urgent category: figuring out how to handle the seemingly strained situation with Tomas Tatar. MLive.com’s Ansar Khan provides an update on the situation, which unfortunately seems like more of the same.

Tatar’s camp has rejected a five-year offer of $5 million per season, wanting six or seven years at closer to $6 million a season, a source said.

Neither side appears willing to budge, which could result in a rare hearing for the Red Wings before an arbitrator next Thursday in Toronto. If it reaches that stage, Tatar will receive a one-year contract because he is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

A one-year contract might not be so promising in the long-term, as there are rumblings that such a situation might prompt Tatar to eventually leave Detroit.

Khan provides a rosier update for Andreas Athanasiou. Without arbitration rights, the Red Wings might be able to leverage the speedy forward into a cheap deal. Khan pegs a possible deal at two years with a cap hit of $1.5 million.

While Athanasiou and Tatar are more crucial scenarios, there’s also the question of possibly bringing back Thomas Vanek.

Both Khan and the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James report that, while there’s mutual interest in Vanek returning to the Red Wings, those two younger forwards are expected to eat up too much cap space.

It’s a tight situation for Holland & Co., so it wouldn’t be surprising if that front office will have to wait until August to enjoy a day at the beach.