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Hot Links: Tuesday, August 18

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The Athanasiou dilemma is a real one, Edmonton’s wingers scoring in the playoffs (for other teams), 3C targets, latetst 31 Thoughts podcast, and MORE!

Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Morning, folks!

What to do about Andreas Athanasiou? Ken Holland spent two second-round draft picks to acquire the former 30-goal man, but the early returns have been uneven at best. Holland has a decision to make, and there is pain on either side. No matter how you slice it, the acquisition cost was steep. I think most of us here were at least on board with the intent of the move at the time — and I was on vacation in Kona so I mean it’s hard to get too mad about anything out there, but there were obvious signs that it could play out like this:

So now they’ve got this player who has some tools, whose qualifying offer is far too high (thanks, Ken), and who becomes an unrestricted free agent if the Oilers choose not to extend it to him. Yeesh.

Unfortunately, the acquisition cost is sunk. Can’t change it now. All Holland can do now is try his best to objectively determine whether Athanasiou helps his club as he is today, and not worry so much about getting value from those spent picks.

The worst part of all of it? For Ken Holland, solving this dilemma still leaves him with a ton of work to do if the Oilers are going to continue progressing into a legitimately good team.


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