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Oilers Actively Trying to Trade Athanasiou Before Important Deadline

The Edmonton Oilers actively trying to trade Andreas Athanasiou before he is due a $3 million qualifying offer by Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. ET.

Andreas Athanasiou Oilers

The debate about what to do with Andreas Athanasiou started the second the Edmonton Oilers were eliminated from the play-in round by the Chicago Blackhawks. Perhaps even before then, when it was clear Athanasiou was only going to get a few games in with the Oilers before the NHL hit pause due to a pandemic, fans were wondering if the winger had done enough to justify a qualifying offer for next season.

Apparently, he has not.

If a recent report from Frank Seravalli of TSN is accurate (no reason to assume it wouldn’t be), the Oilers are actively trying to trade Athanasiou before he is due a $3 million qualifying offer by Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. ET.

That the Oilers aren’t interested in paying $3 million to retain the rights to Athanasiou is not surprising. And, considering $3 million is a minimum price he’d be paid, it’s not at all shocking to see the Oilers want to move on from that contract in a flat salary cap. The best thing Edmonton can do is try to recoup something from the two second-round picks they had to move to acquire him from the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Trade Deadline.

Seravalli notes Oilers GM Ken Holland is between a rock and a hard place. Because other teams are thinking he’ll have no choice but to let Athanasiou walk for nothing (GMs are betting he won’t pay the winger and the Oilers won’t convince Athansiou to forgo his QO and sign a different deal), other teams will simply wait. It’s actually smarter for opposing GMs to let Athansiou’s qualifying offer date come and go so that he’s a free agent and will be forced to sign for the going market rate.

A Deal With An Old Red Wing That Didn’t Pay Off

Needless to say, if Holland is unable to move Athanasiou and the Oilers essentially lose two second-round picks for a player who had one goal and one assist in 15 games for the Oilers, he’ll take some heat for the poor decision.

Andreas Athanasiou
Andreas Athanasiou

At the same time, it’s hard to fault him for the move as arguably no one knew Athanasiou better than Holland did. He had him under his employ when both were with the Detroit Red Wings and he was clearly confident Athanasiou could be that player again.

He may still become that guy, it just doesn’t look like it will be in Edmonton.

At the end of the day, there’s still a chance Holland takes a gamble here and pays the $3 million. It’s just hard to imagine that happening.

Next: Coyotes Give GMs Green Light on Multiple Trade Offers [Report]

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