Greek-Canadian Athanasiou, Red Wings’ Forward, Misses Games due to Injury

The Detroit Red Wings' Andreas Athanasiou (72) skates against New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 15, in Uniondale, NY. Photo: (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings’ forward Andreas Athanasiou has become a critical member of the team having scored 11 goals this season, second only to Dylan Larkin who has scored 15.

Athanasiou missed the game against the Florida Panthers on December 22 due to an upper body injury though he did warm-up with the team, The Detroit News reported. The Red Wings lost 2-1 in that game and then on December 23 to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime before the holiday break.

Coach Jeff Blahill spoke to The Detroit News about Anthanasiou and his injury, “He had an upper body from the other day, but I anticipated him playing coming to the rink. He thought he was going to play yesterday [December 21], that’s the knowledge I was given. Then we got here today [December 22] and it didn’t feel good and he wasn’t able to go.”

The Greek-Canadian Athanasiou, his father is Greek and mother is Indo-Guyanese, is a promising young player. According to NHL.com, he made his NHL debut for the Red Wings on November 8, 2015 in a game against the Dallas Stars and scored his first NHL goal in his second game against the Washington Capitals and goalie Brent Holtby.

The Red Wing’s forward Justin Abdelkader told The Detroit News, “He’s obviously a dynamic player and it’s tough when you lose a guy like that, but [Wade] Megan came in and played real well and it gives other guys a chance to play more minutes and they played well, too. You can’t worry about the guys who aren’t here, and it’s about the guys who are going to go out and play, the 20 guys in here.”