On the Detroit Red Wings …
Bob McKenzie: Red Wings restricted free agent forward Andreas Athanasiou flew to Switzerland last night and will start skating with Lugano.
John Shannon: Confirm that Athanasiou left Toronto last night at 8 pm.
Aivis Kalnins: Athanasiou is unlikely to sign with Lugano and may be interested in playing in the Spengler Cup.
Swiss Hockey News: HC Lugano confirms that Athanasiou will skate with the team, but they won’t offer him a contract.
Ansar Khan of MLive: Athanasiou is unlikely to sign with HC Lugano as he can only make a small portion compared to NHL contracts.
GM Ken Holland wouldn’t say much on Athanasiou other than that agent Dave Ferris called him to let him their plan.
On the Vancouver Canucks …
Rick Dhaliwal: Trevor Linden on pending free agents Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Troy Stecher and Erik Gudbranson: “Jim has kept up with the agents.”
On the Vegas Golden Knights …
Tom Gulitti: Each goal that pending UFA winger James Neal scores increases his trade value at the trade deadline.
On the Toronto Maple Leafs …
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet: The trade for goaltender Calvin Pickard could be a hint of more moves to come for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs are believed only to have been interested in Pickard if he passed through waivers so they could immediately place him in the AHL. He may not be in the minors for long.
Pickard has been an NHL backup for the past two season and is nine years younger than current backup Curtis McElhinney.
The Maple Leafs have lots of organizational depth – Kasperi Kapanen and Nikita Soshnikov are in the AHL, Josh Leivo is their 14th forward, and Roman Polak is still skating with the team on a PTO.
“The right people always end up on the team,” Babcock said at the start of training camp. “Sometimes they don’t end up on the team right away.”