JUST IN: Red Wings increase offer to RFA Andreas Athanasiou

Report | Red Wings and Andreas Athanasiou agree to deal

Athanasiou has been skating in Switzerland and is expected to return to Toronto this weekend before heading over to Detroit after his VISA is issued.

The contract stalemate between the Detroit Red Wings and Andreas Athanasiou is finally over.

Athanasiou is now skating with a Swiss team as he waits out the situation and is believed to have offers from the KHL.

The Red Wings are reportedly facing cap space issues - as in they don't have enough money to offer a young winger a generous contract deal. In his fourth year with the team, the Capitals are counting on the 22-year-old to elevate his production to help replace departed top-six forwards Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams. Ron Gardenhire, newly-hired manager of the Detroit Tigers, was in attendance, wearing a Red Wings hat.

With a potential KHL contract on the table, Athanasiou bolted for Switzerland on October 7.

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The contract dispute was well-documented over the offseason with Bob McKenzie discussing the topic Thursday, highlighting the December 1 deadline to get a contract signed. He had until December 1 to make an National Hockey League return in order to be eligible to play this season.

Alex Ovechkin scored the winning goal less than two minutes into overtime as the Capitals stopped the Red Wings, 4-3, in Detroit.

Athanasiou, who was a restricted free agent this summer, was seeking a two-year deal worth around $2.5 million per season. "This thing is either going to get done here in the next day or so, or it's likely he's going to sign to play in Europe and who knows when or if he'll be back in the Red Wing lineup".

The Red Wings have two shorthanded goals in eight games, after scoring only three all last season.

Now that Athanasiou is under contract with the Red Wings it will be interesting to see if he can parlay his one-year deal into a successful campaign worthy of a long-term commitment with a significant raise next offseason.

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