The Kings added Andreas Athanasiou to the roster yesterday, signing him for a year at $1.2-million. This is an intriguing landing spot for AA because this team has been devoid of true depth scoring for many years and he is not far removed from a 30-goal season. At the same time, the top line seems set and I would usually lean to incumbents when making lineups. I don’t see the reason for AA to replace Iafallo or Brown, at least not for several games.
In that sense, it’ll be hard to see AA flourish in a depth role there. As an example, as the Kings declined, Tyler Toffoli’s goals/game mark also declined, from 0.31 between 2014-18 to 0.24 over the last two years. Over an 82-game season, that’s five fewer goals for a 25-goal scorer. It is a lot. If AA gets to the top line, he can do some damage, but I think we see him float in the middle-6 to give them some depth scoring punch, and that likely means a goal output similar to last year.
There are some hockey maxims I have taken to over the years and one of them is “the hardest minutes for any player are those with bad line mates.” Not sure on the source but it always rang true for me. The Detroit roster last year, outside the top four five players, was flat-out bad. It has been for a while. I think we saw his upside when he gets lucky with shooting percentages. I think we also saw his downside when his team’s percentages aren’t in his favor. Whether that changes in Los Angeles, well, they’re a better roster than Detroit anyway. There is something here with AA, it’s just a matter of unlocking it consistently. I have no idea if that happens.
An update from Henrik Lundqvist:
Nothing to say except best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
Kirby Dach will be out 4-5 months following surgery on the broken wrist