Athanasiou to begin skating with Swiss team

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Andreas Athanasiou, the last of the unsigned restricted free agents in the NHL at this point, will reportedly begin skating with Swiss team Lugano according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Once arrives in Switzerland he will assess his options. He has not yet signed a contract with the team.

The Red Wings have been unable to come to terms on a new contract with the 23-year-old forward even though the gap between the two sides doesn’t seem to be quite that large. Athanasiou is reportedly seeking a deal worth $2.5 million, while the Red Wings are hoping to get him signed for $1.9 million. It seems there should be a middle ground there that is easily reachable.

One of the issues, however, is the Red Wings’ dire salary cap situation where they do not have a ton of flexibility to work with given the current makeup of the roster. The Red Wings are already over the salary cap (they are cap compliant because of players placed on the long-term injury list) for this season. Given the state of the roster and some of the long-term commitments they have in place it might be one of the worst salary cap situations in the entire league.

In 64 games with the Red Wings this past season Athanasiou scored 18 goals to go with 11 assists. He has 27 goals and 16 assists (43 total points) in 101 career NHL games over two years.