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Oilers Pitching Idea of One-Year $2 Million Deal for Athanasiou?

As per Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers might be hoping to convince Athanasiou to sign a 1-yr $2 million deal.

Andreas Athanasiou Oilers

As per an article by Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, “the club [Oilers] would love for Athanasiou to agree to a short-term deal with a “show-me” AAV. A 1-year, $2m contract.” He adds that the deal would good deal for both sides as it would “create vital cap space that Holland desperately needs in the short term. But it would also give the player (with a full summer for him to get into proper, peak physical condition) a chance to enhance his value on a team that features 2 of the best Centers in the world.”

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Leavins contends this deal seems like an attractive proposal for Athanasiou in a tight market where if he doesn’t accept, he’s going to have to give free agency a go and there are no guarantees. Leavins writes, “Seems like a hell of an opportunity, no? Would the player not relish that?”

The answer is, unfortunately for the Oilers, probably not.

Leavins also notes that Athanasiou’s agent is notoriously a fierce negotiator. Darren Ferris reps Athanasiou and Ferris has a reputation going the extra mile to get the best money for his clients at any one given moment in time. From the sounds of it, Athanasiou is likely not getting the type of the advice that would suggest he try a one-year deal with the Oilers. As Leavins notes, some agents are also more pragmatic than others. “And that may not work in Edmonton’s favor,” he says.

Might Athanasiou Think He’s Got the Oilers in a Tough Spot?

One possibility is that Athanasiou and his agent realize what the Oilers gave up to acquire him at the NHL Trade Deadline this past season. And, the prospect of losing two second-round picks for a player that is likely going to leave can’t sit well with the organization. Perhaps the player and his agent believe that the Oilers will pony up more money simply to avoid having egg on their face in this particular deal.

And, if this was any other season and the cap had gone up, that may have been an accurate read of the situation. But, because of a flat cap and limited funds, Edmonton simply can’t afford to agree to the minimums Athanasiou is going to get if the two sides go to arbitration.

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