General manager Ken Holland said before the team’s game against Washington on Friday night that the 23-year-old Athanasiou needed to travel back from Europe and go through the immigration process, and that he still needed to pass a physical.
Athanasiou scored 18 goals last season for Detroit, but the restricted free agent was still unsigned through this past preseason, and there was talk the speedy left wing might leave to play in Russia. It now appears he’ll be back on the ice with the Red Wings soon.
Athanasiou was second on the team in goals last season behind Tomas Tatar, who scored 25. Athanasiou has 27 goals and 16 assists in 101 NHL games.