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2024 Blackhawks Bottom Line

Blackhawks Bottom Line: Injury Holds Andreas Athanasiou Back

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Over the next month, Chicago Hockey Now will be profiling every Chicago Blackhawks player from the 2023-24 season. Today will be forward Andreas Athanasiou.

Andreas Athanasiou
Left Wing
Games Played: 28
(Goals – Assists – Points): 2-7-9
Contract Status: Signed through 2024-25; $4.25M AAV

The Short View

Andreas Athanasiou was limited to just 28 games due to a nagging injury that sidelined him from November until the middle of March. Upon his return, Athanasiou had two assists in the Blackhawks 7-2 win over Anaheim.  But the underlying numbers from there in his final 17 games, Athanasiou had two goals and three assists. His first 11? Four assists.

Though injury kept him on the injured list for some time, the short sample didn’t see the same dynamic 40-point performer a season earlier, who had 20 goals.

The Long View

Athanasiou is heading into the final year of his contract and with the Blackhawks looking to improve their roster, it’s a make or break season for him. He’ll be 30 next season and enjoyed his best season in some time with the Blackhawks in 2022-23. But that didn’t transfer over as injury robbed his season.

Athanasiou’s speed is still a massive weapon and with an improved roster can be utilized even more effectively. Imagine him lining up with Frank Nazar, another speedster. As has always been the issue in his game though is the inability to be as strong on the backcheck. With a season left, Athanasiou can rectify a limited season with more points, production, and possibly, a ticket to a contender at the trade deadline.

Or if the Blackhawks indeed make an impressive jump, a chance to get a new deal.

The Bottom Line for Andreas Athanasiou

Athanasiou has bounced around after spending his best seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, the team that drafted him. His best season statistically came in 2018-19, and the closest he came to those numbers was a season ago.

So like Jason Dickinson who followed up a great season with an even better one for Chicago in 2023-24, the hope was that Andreas Athanasiou would do the same.

But it didn’t work out that way. So now, the 2024-25 season brings intrigue of where things go next from here. Athanasiou has playoff experience and he also has a collection of skills that are valuable. But where does he want to go? Is he wanting to earn more time in Chicago? Does he want to go to a contender, where he has a chance to go after deep playoff runs and a chance at the Stanley Cup?

Had Athanasiou played a 81 games like he did a season prior, Athanasiou would have averaged out to about 26 points. The goal tally would have been close to six, a steep decline from that season prior.

So the motivation for Athanasiou heading into next season will not only be showing that the 2023-24 campaign was a mirage, but that he still has plenty in the tank for either the Blackhawks–or down the road–a team he could suit up for later.

There’s still a spot next season for him. It’s just a matter of whether he’ll produce as he once did.

Previous Blackhawks Bottom Line Entries

Seth Jones | Connor Murphy | Ryan Donato | Taylor Raddysh | Joey Anderson Jason Dickinson | Nick Foligno | Nikita Zaitsev | Philipp Kurashev | Jaycob Megna | Jarred Tinordi | Lukas Reichel | Petr Mrazek | Ethan Del Mastro | Arvid Soderblom | Colin Blackwell | Reese Johnson | Kevin Korchinski | Mackenzie Entwistle | Alex Vlasic | Landon Slaggert |

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