Report: Andreas Athanasiou to begin skating with HC Lugano in Switzerland, has yet to sign contract

Restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou will head to Switzerland to skate with HC Lugano, TSN’s Bob McKenzie has reported:

McKenzie goes on to say that Athanasiou has not signed a contract with Lugano, and will weigh out his options once he begins skating with the team.

This all comes during a contract negotiation gridlock between Athanasiou, and general manager Ken Holland. The team has made some insurance signings like David Booth, to act as a roster placeholder.

At this point, it seems uncertain that Athanasiou will be with the Red Wings this season. Signing a contract in Europe enables him to skate and compete with Team Canada in the upcoming Winter Olympics, something that NHL players have been barred from.

We’ll keep you updated as the situation develops, but I think it’s safe to say that Athanasiou has made up his mind, unless Holland can work some serious magic in these stalled negotiations.