| Detroit Free Press
Steve Yzerman on trading Andreas Athanasiou: It made sense for Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman explains his trade deadline decisions. Filmed Feb. 24, 2020 in Detroit.
Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is the clear-cut winner of the biggest trade deadline deal he made last spring.
He unloaded underachieving forward Andreas Athanasiou to the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for two second-round picks and veteran forward Sam Gagner.
The Oilers, run by former Wings GM Ken Holland, gambled on Athanasiou, has the skillset to be a dynamic forward and appealed as someone who had the speed to keep up on a line with Connor McDavid.
Athanasiou was in the last year of his contract, and the Wings weren’t going to keep him.
Neither, it turns out, will the Oilers.
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector tweeted Tuesday night Holland is done with Athanasiou, who he drafted at 110th overall in 2012 while with the Wings.
“Didn’t work out, so they’ll be going unqualified,” Holland said of Athanasiou and fellow Oilers’ restricted free agent Matthew Benning.
It’s not surprising, since Athanasiou had no points in the four games it took for the Oilers to be booted from the qualifying round of the playoffs. Athanasiou had one goal and one assist in the nine games he played with Edmonton, quickly dropping from playing with McDavid to the fourth line.
Gagner was a throw-in in the deal, a way for the Oilers to shed salary. He made a favorable impression in Detroit, fitting nicely into the lineup and the locker room, and has been re-signed for one year.
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