Detroit Red Wings: Andreas Lilja to Return Monday, Maltby Out For Season

February 24th, 2010 by Matt Hutter Leave a reply »
On Wednesday, the Detroit Red Wings announced that defenseman Andreas Lilja will return to the lineup on Monday, March 1, against the Colorado Avalanche.

Lilja has been on long-term injured reserve for nearly a year after suffering a concussion in a fight with Nashville's Shea Weber last February.

Though never a game-breaker by any means, Andreas Lilja has filled a valuable niche in Detroit over the past five seasons, that of a large, dependable, stay-at-home defenseman.

During his time in Detroit, Lilja has developed into an excellent penalty-killer and shot-blocker as well as a versatile defensive pairing partner, comfortable with playing alongside superstars, Nicklas Lidstrom or young defensemen like Derek Meech.

A year removed from the game, Lilja is sure to be slow in rounding into game shape, however, his defensive abilities and size should prove to be a significant upgrade over one of either Derek Meech or Brett Lebda, the defensemen that will be replaced by Lilja.

Initially, Lilja's return was going to cause cap issues for the Red Wings, however, these have largely been eleviated by Kirk Maltby's decision to have ...

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