The Los Angeles Kings made a significant move yesterday, addressing two needs with one move.
Don’t get defensive; this player will help the Kings.
Andrea Athanasiou signed a 1-year deal worth $1.2 million. Some of you may know him from his days in Detroit with the Red Wings; some may have no clue who he is. A former Red Wing draft pick played his minor pro career with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL before making his debut in Detroit.
After his production dipped, he was shipped to the Edmonton Oilers, where he played 9 games and had 2 points.
The pros with the acquisition are the Athanasiou can play all 3 forward positions, can play penalty kill or powerplay, and he has blazing speed he uses in every situation. He does have 30 goal potential, as he scored 30 with Detroit.
The biggest con is that he does not play a defensive game and has some work to do in the defensive part of his game. Coach McLellan will address that during training camp, and hopefully, he will be ready to go when the season begins.
The contract Athanasiou signed is a good one for both sides. Not a long-term, money-rich deal.
If Athanasiou can put together a good defensive game along with his speed, creativity in the offensive zone, the ability to pay anywhere in the lineup, the Kings have a steal. At 26 years old, he can still produce and is in the prime of his career.
If he works out in Los Angeles, they address the needs of speed, creativity, scoring, and versatility.
The question can he put it all together in time for the 56 game season?
He could be that player who carries the Kings into the playoffs this year.
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