Wings’ Joakim Andersson headed back to Sweden

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Joakim Andersson

Detroit – Joakim Andersson is headed back to Sweden.

Andersson, 27, has signed a two-year contract with Orebro, of the Swedish Elite League.

An unrestricted free agent on July 1, Andersson wasn’t expected to return to the Red Wings.

Andersson was waived halfway through the season and spent the final months of the regular season with minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids (19 games, three goals, two assists).

Andersson was recalled by the Red Wings the final week of the regular season and spent the playoffs with Detroit, appearing in all five games of the series loss to Tampa Bay, with one assist.

A good penalty killer and defensive forward, Andersson struggled with his lack of speed and inconsistent offense.

A 2007 third-round pick, Andersson played 205 games with the Red Wings and had 15 goals and 21 assists.

Athanasiou to Grand Rapids

Forward Andreas Athanasiou was reassigned by the Red Wings to Grand Rapids for the remainder of the playoffs.

Athanasiou would have been assigned immediately after the Red Wings’ season was over after the series loss to Tampa Bay, but he had to tend to family matters.

The Griffins open the second round of the American League playoffs Thursday in Cleveland.