Dreger checked into Athanasiou trade availability

Teams may have interest in Andreas Athanasiou, but it doesn’t appear as if the Detroit Red Wings are too eager to trade the young forward.

Darren Dreger had a Friday morning radio hit on Buffalo’s WGR 550, and brought up the topic when asked to delve into trade deadline-related chatter.

“A name that has been thrown out there is Athanasiou with the Detroit Red Wings,” began Dreger. “His name crossed my desk last week, and I did some checking with my Red Wings sources. I was told, ‘No, no, no, no.’ Unless it’s one of those can’t miss opportunities, they see Athanasiou as being part of their future, that development of a younger core.

“Now, in saying that, where do these rumors and where does this speculation come from. Is the player unhappy in Detroit? There’s been some who wonder about his relationship with Jeff Blashill. I’m not there. I don’t know that to be true. But I don’t think that that’s enough to encourage a change in Detroit.

“And based on the feedback I got from the Red Wings, I think that the speculation is a little off-base.”

Elliotte Friedman mentioned on the latest installment of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast that he heard the Edmonton Oilers have had some interest in Athanasiou, but also clearly stated that he didn’t know if Athanasiou was even available from the Red Wings.

Co-host Jeff Marek marveled at the potential speed combination of Athanasiou skating with Connor McDavid.

“That would be frightening to the rest of the NHL,” said Marek. “You want to talk about backing up defensemen on the blueline - that’s how you do it.”

Athanasiou is in the first season of a two-year, $6 million contract with a $3 million cap hit, and can become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of that pact.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly