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The One Way The Red Wings Would Consider Trading Andreas Athanasiou

By: Will Burchfield

In the midst of a youth movement and in desperate need of more talent up front, the Red Wings would obviously be loath to trade 22-year-old spark plug Andreas Athanasiou.


That's not to say they wouldn't.

As Elliotte Friedman writes in his most recent 30 Thoughts column, "Heard through the gossip line that a few teams had reached out to Detroit about Andreas Athanasiou when there were some battles over his ice time."

And there's a way the Wings would consider parting ways with one of the most efficient five-on-five goal scorers in the league. Per Friedman:

"Another team indicated (Ken Holland) told them not to even bother asking unless "a 22-year-old top-pair defenceman" was part of the conversation. The Wings have told clubs they are 'open for business,' but won't consider moving any of their young offensive cornerstones unless that kind of player is potentially available."

The Wings are thin on the blue line and Holland has tried for a long time to address this weakness.

"I know the conversations he's had over the past couple, three years trying to land an NHL defenseman, a Top-4 guy," TSN's Darren Dreger told WGR 550 last month. "He hasn't been able to do that. So he's still in the market there."

To throw some more fuel on the fire, it's been rumored that Holland has pursued Winnipeg's Jacob Trouba, who just so happens to be a "22-year-old top-pair defenceman." Could Athanasiou be the lynchpin of a potential deal?

[RELATED: Wings May Favor Extending Smith Over Trading Him]

By the way, the gap between how highly the Wings value Athanasiou and how sparingly they play him is endlessly puzzling. His talent renders him all but untouchable, yet he's second to last among the team's top 13 forwards in ice time per game (13:11). That this continues to be the case on a team that is clearly headed nowhere is unanswerable.


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