Expect Athanasiou decision within the week
August 30, 2017, 10:22 PM ET [12 Comments]
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Andreas Athanasiou is weighing his options.
As talks between the restricted free agent forward and the Detroit Red Wings remain at an impasse, Athanasiou’s agent claims that his client is seriously considering significant offers from unnamed KHL clubs.
“Andreas is evaluating the pros and cons of all the offers,” suggested Darren Ferris, agent for the 23-year-old forward who posted career-high 18-11-29 totals in 64 games for the Wings last season in what was Athanasiou’s first full NHL campaign.
Ferris told MLive.com that he expected a decision to be made by his client by the end of the week.
While it seems clear that Athanasiou’s heartfelt desire is to remain with the Red Wings, there’s also a business decision afoot. The money he’s been offered to play in Russia is much higher than what the Wings are putting on the table.
“Andreas loves Detroit and especially the the Detroit fans, but he has to really consider the serious offers from the KHL he has before him,” Ferris told MLive.com.
“There is a considerable difference in the amount of money (that the KHL teams are offering Athanasiou).”
It could all very well be posturing from Athanasiou’s camp to convince the Wings to bump up their offer to him, but Detroit GM Ken Holland doesn’t sound like a man who is willing to cave.
“The ball is in their court,” Holland said. “They have a decision to make.”
In truth, Holland’s may be tied for a couple of reasons. One, the numerous bad contracts he’s already dished out that leave the team in a salary-cap bind that will likely force them to jettison a roster player before the start of the season.
Secondly, with forwards Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha due for new deals next season, he doesn’t want to set a precedent that young players can use the KHL to squeeze more money out of the Wings.
It will be interesting to see who blinks first.
The Wings had extended a training-camp tryout invitation to veteran NHL forward David Booth.
The Detroit-born Booth, 32, a former Michigan State Spartan, spent the past two seasons in the KHL. He last played in the NHL for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014-15, but was a 31-goal scorer for the Florida Panthers in 2008-09.
The Wings announced Wednesday that training camp for the 2017-18 season would open Sept. 15 in Traverse City, Mich.
Camp will run through Sept. 18.