Embed from Getty Images He is blessed with world class speed. He can score goals. He is not very good defensively. He has big lapses in his game. The Detroit Red Wings, must decide what to do with the gifted yet flawed winger.
When is it too early to cut ties with a player? Andreas Athanasiou is 23 years old. In nearly three full years in Detroit, Athanasiou has 43 goals. Which is not too shabby.
However, Red Wings coaches and front office believe Andreas should be producing more. There has been a stall in his development. One minute he looks like a hall of fame to be player. Then he disappears for long gaps. Sometimes games pass and he was nowhere to be seen trying to help the team win.
In short Andreas Athanasiou, stops competing. He is not good on defense and his board work is well along the same lines as his defense. So how long should a rebuilding Red Wings, team wait to see if he will choose to help and be the player scouting reports say he should be?
Detroit, is in a bit of a pickle because of his limited ice production there is not much of a market for an occasional goal scorer. In a day and age when nearly every NHL has put a premium on two way players Athanasiou, falls way behind.
The question Ken Holland, and the coaching staff must decide is do they trade him for a bare minimum return and hope he does not put it all together in another city? Or stick with him and hope that he grows up and grows into the roll he should be in?
With young wingers like Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Sevchnikov already gaining more ice time because they do play two ways at a high level game in and game out they seem to have placed Andreas Athanasiou, behind the eight ball.
Athanasiou, is doing himself no favors. The Red Wings, will soon make the call.