Both players were traded to the Edmonton Oilers in separate deals.
"I said it after the game (Sunday), Dylan Larkin said. "It's eye-opening. You see it, it's your buddy, a guy I came into the league with. We were roommates our rookie year. He's a great player. He just couldn't get it going this year. I don't know. It's the business of it. It does open your eyes. A little bit of a wake-up call."
Everyone knew when both Athanasiou and Green were held out of Sunday night's game against the Calgary Flames that both players were likely to be dealt but as Monday was a team day off, it was still tough to walk in the room and see that they weren't there.
"It's hard to see guys go," Luke Glendening said. "It's exciting for them from the aspect that they get the chance to play in the playoffs, hopefully. But it's hard to see guys go. I think my first development camp, I was older but I was roommates with Doubles. I kind of grew up with him, coming in around the same time. Greener, such a great guy, great teammate. A guy who you can really lean on."
As two of the young leaders and alternate captains, Larkin and Glendening spoke with both Athanasiou and Green before they left.
"I think (Athanasiou) was pretty shaken up," Larkin said. "The reality of it, he didn't want to be moved. He was comfortable here. We had a good group. He fit in with us. But he's got a great opportunity. He knows that. He's excited for that opportunity with the players they have, the weapons up front. He's gonna fit in nice there.
"Both are pretty close buddies. It's tough. It's the business of hockey, the NHL. They're both great guys, great players, and they're gonna do great in Edmonton, I know."
Said Glendening: "You wish them the best and hope they find success. Like I said, it's exciting for them to get a chance to play in the playoffs but hard to see them go."
While Athanasiou and Green were the names that were discussed the most before the trade deadline, Glendening was also in play, according to some of the NHL insiders.
So to still be in Detroit come Tuesday was a bit of relief.
"It's always a stressful day," Glendening said. "I think especially now that I'm married it makes it a little harder, just trying to figure all that out. You know where you're at. I'm just looking forward to these last (18) games."
Wings coach Jeff Blashill was at Little Caesars Arena Monday during the day.
"I came in in the morning, Steve (Yzerman) had his management team here, scouts and all that," Blashill said. "I spent some of the morning down here just working through tape, just being available in case Steve needed me and I spent the latter part of the day up until 3 just being there and adding a voice when needed."
While Blashill understands the emotional aspect of what took place, he knows he still has to prepare his team to play against the New Jersey Devils.
"There's a human side to it for sure," Blashill said. "Andreas was really good friends with a number of our guys, that whole young crew of (Tyler) Bertuzzi, (Anthony) Mantha, Larkin, (Madison) Bowey, Fabbs (Robby Fabbri) , they all got along really well. So there's a human side to it that I recognize. I've had conservations with some of the guys and I'll have conversations with more as we move through the way. Players seem to understand it's part of it. To say there's no human emotion involved with it would be a lie. Our job is to compartmentalize that and go out and play to the best of our ability."
Yzerman said Monday that while the playoffs are not available, jobs and futures are and everyone is aware that the remainder of the season still matters.
"All year has been like that. Everyone understands that," Larkin said. Everyone's getting an opportunity to play probably above what you are. There's opportunity. Every single guy understands that. We're here to take advantage of that and see what guys are made out of. This whole season's been a character test, a character-building season. We're in it to be together and win, and get some points down the stretch for the team."
Glendening, who was not drafted, said that he has always had the mindset of having things to prove.
"I think I've felt that since the first day, the first opportunity to get in this league," Glendening said. "Nothing's given. Whether you have a contract, or you've played in the past, we all have something to prove and this last (18) games is the time to do that."
GOLOUBEF'S GAME PLAN: If newly acquired defenseman Cody Goloubef is playing his game, you won't even notice he's on the ice.
"Just play hard. Try to defend as hard as I can and move pucks. Tight gaps, box guys out," was Goloubef's response when asked to describe his game. "Just a simple, hard game. Try not to be recognized out there. It's all about playing hard and competing as hard as I can."
Claimed off waivers from the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 21, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed shooting defenseman had appeared in 24 games with the Sens this season, registering two points with a goal and an assist, was minus-2, assessed eight penalty minutes and had an average ice time of 15:11.
The 30-year old rearguard is looking for to making his Red Wings debut on Tuesday night versus the Devils.
"I'm excited. It's another opportunity to showcase yourself. It's such a cool organization with a solid history behind it. It's really neat," Goloubef said. "Anytime you step on the ice, no matter where you are, you're just trying to do your best and play as hard as you can. You're looking for jobs everywhere, no matter what position any team's in. You're always trying to showcase yourself and do the best you can. It's just another opportunity to go out there and do what I can."
With Monday being a day off for the Wings, Goloubef hasn't had an opportunity to practice with his new teammates, which will limit his ice time against New Jersey.
"Cody hasn't even had a practice yet, so I contemplated not dressing him just to give him a practice but in the end he's going to dress and play a little bit, he won't play a ton," Blashill said. "He's just got to get his feet wet within our systems and get to where he can go out and play without thinking. He's a good all-around player. The people we've talked to say he does everything good.
"If he can make good decisions and compete and get the puck up to our forwards then he can help us. So it adds to the depth on D and competition on D the rest of the way."
Though he's joining the Wings at the tail end of the season, he feels there is enough hockey left to jell with his teammates.
"I'm just trying to get in here, trying to get to know everybody, bring fresh energy, something new," Goloubef said. "New conversation, new face, I think it's good for guys. It's only as hard as you make it. If you dive in two feet, get to know everybody, I think it's a pretty easy transition."
INJURY/NEW PLAYER UPDATE: While Goloubef is finally in Detroit, two others might take a little time.
Sam Gagner, acquired from Edmonton as part of the Athanasiou trade, is not here.
"He won't be available tonight, I don't expect it to be super long-term but there is working through immigration and visa issues," Blashill said.
Dmytro Timashov, picked up on waivers from Toronto, is also in a holding pattern.
"Timashov has a bigger uphill battle with immigration because he's Ukraine and has a Swedish passport," Blashill said. "That one will be longer. I expect Sam will be much quicker."
Defenseman Filip Hronek (upper body) skated with the team Tuesday in an orange, non-contact jersey.
Forward Adam Erne did not skate.
"I don't anticipate Erne being available," Blashill said. "We have 11 forwards and seven (D) available. I think we'll stay at that."
DEVILS CAN BE CHALLENGING: They may not have the league's best record but the New Jersey Devils have given the Wings all they can handle this season.
The Devils overpowered the Wings, 5-1, on Nov. 23 at New Jersey, with Taro Hirose getting the only goal.
More recently, the Wings couldn't hold a 1-0 third-period lead as the Devils stormed back with four unanswered goals for a 4-1 victory on Feb. 13, also in New Jersey.
Athanasiou had the only goal in that game.
"We have to find a way to show up tonight," Larkin said. "Tonight's a game where there's two points on the line for us. We're at home. We didn't like the way we played both times we faced these guys in Jersey. We need to show up tonight and have some in ourselves, in this group. We feel the group we have tonight can get two points."
Tonight is the Devils' only visit to Little Caesars Arena.
"We had a tough time the last time we went in there," Glendening said. "I think we had a lead and then we blew it in the third. It's a real character test for the guys that are here. It's not always easy after the trade deadline. You see your friends leave. We know the situation we're in. I think character is built in times like this. It's been a trying season for sure but we gotta continue to push."
The Devils are last in the Metropolitan Division at 24-27-10 but the Wings are 0-18-1 against Metropolitan teams this season.
"They've got a really, really good rush game," Blashill said. "They've got some young, super talented players. Obviously with (Nico) Hischier and (Jack) Hughes, those are two of the best young players in the league. They're both very, very good in different ways. They do a really good job of creating white ice off the rush, which can make your tracks and your sorts really hard as you come back into your end.
"One, we gotta make sure that we try to end their rush game as early as we can by managing the puck, by tracking and gapping hard, by ending the plays through the neutral zone. Then two, once we get over the line, we're gonna have to do a really good job of sorting once we get over the line. They've got other challenges for sure. They're a hard forechecking team, a well-coached team, but that's certainly one that we're gonna have to be aware of."
Hischier is third on the team in scoring with 33 points (13-20-33) in 50 games while Hughes has 20 points (7-13-20) in 53 games. Kyle Palmieri leads New Jersey with 42 points (22-20-42) in 57 games.