It was only a little under two months ago that Blackhawks fans (including myself) were cursing Andreas Athanasiou for scoring what would be the game winner against Pittsburgh. As the Hawks were in a close race to the bottom of the standings with Anaheim and Columbus, every point felt crucial. Now that Chicago has sole possession of the #1 pick, fans can welcome him back as a veteran with experience who can help teach their future superstar.
The Blackhawks are signing Athanasiou to a two year deal worth an annual average value (AAV) of 4.25 million per season via NBC Sports Chicago. Initially, this appears to be quite an overpay considering his production. However, the Hawks have a lot of cap space and they will have to spend a lot of money just to reach the cap floor for next season.
During the 2022/2023 season, Athanasiou scored 20 goals and earned 20 assists in 81 games. A total of 40 points on a very bad Blackhawks team is not horrible, especially considering he did lead the team in points.
Athanasiou is best known for being a speedy winger who can put up some points. He is not known for his defensive game, but there is nothing wrong with having a winger with some experience that can offer at least a little bit of help for Bedard.
With this signing in the books, perhaps the team can look at bringing back Max Domi, another soon to be free agent that was formerly with the team. Steve Dishon explored that idea for the Blackhawks here.