Andreas Lilja, Ducks agree, but he's not in uniform
The Ducks made it official Monday, saying they had agreed to a one-year, one-way contract with free-agent defenseman Andreas Lilja. But the deal, which will pay Lilja $600,000, is not totally complete just yet, and there’s no timetable for when he will make his Ducks debut.
A club spokesman said Lilja can’t be on the roster until he settled some immigration issues, which were related to the fact his visa was due to expire on Sunday. He needs new documentation, and although that’s not expected to be a huge problem, bureaucracy rarely operates smoothly. He did join the team in St. Louis for its game against the Blues on Monday.
As for Lilja, you have to wonder what he’s thinking now.
The 35-year-old Swede turned down a one-year offer from the Detroit Red Wings over the summer that was reported to be worth $1 million, though the Detroit Free Press said it was less. Lilja went to the San Jose Sharks’ camp on a tryout but wasn’t offered a contract. After that, the defense-challenged Ducks began looking at him. Their urgency increased after Andy Sutton broke his right thumb in a fight in their season opener at Detroit on Friday.
The Ducks will play their home opener Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Andreas Lilja of the San Jose Sharks, right, tries to restrain Viktor Tikhonov of the Phoenix Coyotes in a preseason split-squad game at HP Pavilion on Sept. 25. Credit: Brian Bahr / Getty Images