Andreas Athanasiou is coming back to the Chicago Blackhawks. Per the numbers by Puckpedia, the 28-year old forward inked a two-year deal that has a cap hit of $4.25M.
The #Blackhawks have resigned pending UFA F Andreas Anthansiou to 2 year $4.25M Cap Hit Deal.
20G 40P in 81 GP
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) June 7, 2023
Athanasiou will continue on with another franchise rebuilding for the foundation for contention once again.
Athanasiou Enjoyed Best Season Since 2018-19
The speedy forward had 40 points with an even split of goals and assists at 20 apiece. Athanasiou played well down the stretch, especially after Patrick Kane was traded and the team was struggling to score. The cap hit of $4.25 will be a bump for the forward who now will have the chance to potentially play the wing on a line with Connor Bedard.
When CHN profiled Athanasiou’s season, we made the following observation:
But here’s something to consider. With the team stripped of the bulk of its scoring when Patrick Kane and Max Domi were shipped off, Athanasiou had 18 of his 40 points post trade deadline. Six of those were goals. He registered three points in the final game, including the shot that Toews redirected for his goal. Spearheading the offense without much around him, Athanasiou held his own rather well.
Now, Athanasiou is being compensated as such and will be looked upon as another veteran to help Bedard come along in his rookie campaign. As noted in the same profile, the two-year deal is also in line with what Chicago is trying to do. Keeping players on short term contracts while they build gives them flexibility be it for trades or for letting contracts off the books as the team readies for contention mode.
A Chance to Build On His Success
Athanasiou spent the bulk of his career with Detroit before bouncing around a bit–first with Edmonton via trade and then signing with Los Angeles. Now with his fourth team in six years, Chicago serves as a nice landing spot for a team that is growing but could use a player like him with the intangibles to score big goals at opportune times.
His speed is a major weapon and if indeed he finds his way on a line with Bedard, it could be utilized to maximize his output. He won’t win a Selke, but he’s scored 30 goals before, and as the team grows, he could potentially do it again.
The deal is a win-win for both sides. It will be interesting to watch as to what his encore is after a show-me season earned him a two-year extension with a raise.