Steve Yzerman continued his work with former Red Wings general manager Ken Holland Monday afternoon — Andreas Athanasiou and forward Ryan Kuffner have been traded to the Edmonton Oilers for pair of 2nd round draft picks and forward Sam Gagner according to the team:
The Detroit #RedWings today acquired center Sam Gagner, a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for center Andreas Athanasiou and left wing Ryan Kuffner. pic.twitter.com/TvdXRVaWqX— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 24, 2020
It’s been a tumultuous beginning to the 2020 trade deadline, with some of the biggest names going off the board quick. Steve Yzerman made quick work overnight when he traded defenseman Mike Green to Edmonton, now he’s continuing his work by pawning off his perhaps most valuable trade chip.
Athanasiou, a well-rounded offensive player, is a good pickup for Edmonton, a team who is vying for a top spot in a wide open playoff race. AA can easily slate into both side of the wing, or at center. It’s been a difficult season for him, dealing with injuries and of course a dismal team, but many forget that he scored 30 goals a season ago. When you add in that he’s still just 25 years old, and a restricted free agent, there’s great value there.
An interesting caveat to this trade — it would further boost Edmonton’s chances in the Western Conference, meanwhile there is a condition on the draft pick acquired in the Green trade. If Edmonton makes it to the Conference Final, the pick becomes a third-rounder in 2021, as opposed to a fourth in 2020.
Kuffner was never a part of the future Red Wings build in my opinion, and Gagner is still useful at 30 years old, though it’s unclear what kind of role we will play, given the Red Wings also claimed a forward off waivers Monday afternoon.
The Red Wings now hold three (DET, EDM, WASH) 2nd round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft.
This is a developing story — stay tuned for the latest details.