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Guest DatsyukianDeke13

Lilja May Test Market

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http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2010/06/andreas_lilja_says_hes_still_n.html

The Red Wings chose not to tender defenseman Andreas Lilja a qualifying offer, but the hulking Swedish defenseman, speaking to Helsingborgs Dagblad's Daniel Rooth, says that he is still contractual turkey with the Red Wings.

It's Lilja, in fact, who appears to have chosen to test the free agent waters, looking for a bigger role elsewhere. That contests the otherwise universally-held belieft that it's the Red Wings who want to look at cheaper alternatives to a 34-year-old defenseman who earned $1.25 million this past season (per Capgeek.com).

These paragraphs come from a longer interview with Lilja about his recovery from post-concussive symptoms (which I'll translate if you're interested):

June 27, Helsingborgs Dagblad (roughly translated): The year-long absence has extended Andreas Lilja's career. Now the native of Rydeback wants to play in the NHL until he's 38 or 39, and then finish his career with two or three seasons in the Eliteserien [playing for Rogle]. The only question is what happens now. His contract with the Detroit Red wings is expiring, and after July 1st, Lilja is free to sign with whichever NHL club he wishes.

"We've begun negotiations with Detroit and we love everything there--the social life, the organization and the team. At the same time, I know my role there. It's hard to move into the top-four defense."

Are you eager to move on?

"I want to secure my economic future. I want to have a greater role. I feel like I could play over 20 minutes a game on many other teams."

"On the other hand, I have a chance to win the Stanley Cup if I stay with Detroit. I will gather together the pros and cons and take [a while to seriously consider them] now."

Despite playing nine seasons in North America, you still feel like an obscure person in the NHL. Are you receiving the appreciation you feel that you deserve?

"Yes, my employer appreciates it when I eat the puck in defensive play and that's important. Other players are more visible in the media, but I could care less about it."

There's some irony here in that the market for free agent defensemen is so very weak that Lilja, if he had played a complete and healthy season, could have very well received a heftier paycheck than the Wings could afford to give him, but given his injury issues...I guess the team and the fans alike will have to wait and see what happens come July 1st.

MulesWillFly93 likes this

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As I've said all along, I would welcome Lils back with open arms, but at the same token, I would prefer to see us get a little meaner on the back-end and coming off his PCS, he simply won't have that mean streak... basically the only 2 defenseman I want here instead of Lilja at this point are:

Vandermeer

Sutton (LONG SHOT - too $$)

So, once again, depending on how things wash out, I'd be more than happy to have him back, as long as the brass does their due process and at least pursues someone of the likes of a Vandermeer first...

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Good luck to him and hope he can remain healthy. He would be great as the anchor for our third pairing but I understand why he wants to play more. Our top 4 is about as solid as any other top 4 in he league.

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As I've said all along, I would welcome Lils back with open arms, but at the same token, I would prefer to see us get a little meaner on the back-end and coming off his PCS, he simply won't have that mean streak... basically the only 2 defenseman I want here instead of Lilja at this point are:

Vandermeer

Sutton (LONG SHOT - too $$)

So, once again, depending on how things wash out, I'd be more than happy to have him back, as long as the brass does their due process and at least pursues someone of the likes of a Vandermeer first...

I'd also take Brendan Witt.

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I'd still like to keep him. There really aren't many great options available to replace him. Totally understand his concerns though.

I want to see Kindl get some games, but I love having someone big and mean down there.

I think there are lots of teams that would want a player like Lilja, but as Carman said those injuries will make it interesting to see what kind of numbers get tossed at him.

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I'd also take Brendan Witt.

Really? I think Witt is a shell of what he was, he is slow as hell and is a HUGE defensive liability at this point...

I'd role with Ericsson-Kindl with Meech as the 7th before I'd want Witt at this stage in his career... physicality is GREAT, but it's not worth sacrificing goals...

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I'd still like to keep him. There really aren't many great options available to replace him. Totally understand his concerns though.

I want to see Kindl get some games, but I love having someone big and mean down there.

I think there are lots of teams that would want a player like Lilja, but as Carman said those injuries will make it interesting to see what kind of numbers get tossed at him.

i think kindl is going to surprise a lot of guys on here. him and ericsson will probably have some healthy competition as well and we'll see ericsson fix alot of last seasons flaws, as he was the s***s at most parts of the season. now that williams' uselessness is gone, ericsson should get some PP time and use that big shot of his. (once he works on a quicker release)

as for lilja, i always liked him on the wings. he played his role. but if he wants a bigger role on a team that needs reliable dmen...have fun in edmonton andreas!

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Plenty of better options out there anyway:

Andy Sutton

Shane Hnidy

Jim Vandermeer

Nick Boynton

Sean O'Donnell

Brendan Witt

Jay McKee

Jay Leach

Jason Strudwick

Garnet Exelby

I'd be happy with any of them,but my top choices are Sutton and Vandermeer.Obviously,money may be an issue with Sutton.

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If we lose Lilja, Holland better better ink a veteran to ease the blow. Not only that, locating a veteran that provides everything Lilja does for his price tag will be beyond tough.

Hockeymom1960 and 55fan like this

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Really? I think Witt is a shell of what he was, he is slow as hell and is a HUGE defensive liability at this point...

I'd role with Ericsson-Kindl with Meech as the 7th before I'd want Witt at this stage in his career... physicality is GREAT, but it's not worth sacrificing goals...

I haven't seen much of Witt these past few seasons since he's been on the Isle...That said it's not as though the Islanders were anything special, and Witt was certainly not alone when it comes down to the breakdowns in their own end.

I figure he's be a cheap solid #6 Dman for roughly $1 to $1.5 million per season for a few seasons...If not him then I'd like Vandermeer, Exelby, Sutton, or Strudwick.

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I'd have to take a second look at Witt after earlier in the season when he was hit by a car and still played later that night.

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If we lose Lilja, Holland better better ink a veteran to ease the blow. Not only that, locating a veteran that provides everything Lilja does for his price tag will be beyond tough.

I'm certain there are a few guys on Holland's radar who would fill in quite nicely.

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I'm certain there are a few guys on Holland's radar who would fill in quite nicely.

Guys that kill PK's as effectively as Lilja, block shots, steady the ship playing alongside youth and come for $1.25 or less don't really grow on trees. He may find a replacement, but I wonder how much more it'll cost us or (if the price tag ends up being the same) how much less effective the new guy will be.

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I haven't seen much of Witt these past few seasons since he's been on the Isle...That said it's not as though the Islanders were anything special, and Witt was certainly not alone when it comes down to the breakdowns in their own end.

I figure he's be a cheap solid #6 Dman for roughly $1 to $1.5 million per season for a few seasons...If not him then I'd like Vandermeer, Exelby, Sutton, or Strudwick.

I'd take any of those 4 and several others over Witt, but Lilja is 3rd on my list:

Vandermeer

Sutton

Lilja

Coliacovo

Exelby

Boynton

Hnidy

about 20 other guys, even those relatively unknown...

THEN

Witt

I'd have to take a second look at Witt after earlier in the season when he was hit by a car and still played later that night.

Once again:

tough as nails≠good defenseman

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Guys that kill PK's as effectively as Lilja, block shots, steady the ship playing alongside youth and come for $1.25 or less don't really grow on trees. He may find a replacement, but I wonder how much more it'll cost us or (if the price tag ends up being the same) how much less effective the new guy will be.

Jay McKee (last years salary $800,000) is probably 1 of the best defensive minded UFA Dmen available, and could fill Lilja's role with little to no problems...Vandermeer would be pretty good as well.

I'd take any of those 4 and several others over Witt, but Lilja is 3rd on my list:

Vandermeer

Sutton

Lilja

Coliacovo

Exelby

Boynton

Hnidy

about 20 other guys, even those relatively unknown...

THEN

Witt

Coliacovo is made of glass; Witt survived a run-in with an SUV :lol:

Jay McKee would make a nice addition - just doesn't drop the gloves that much, and he too has had some bad luck with injuries these past few seasons.

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Jay McKee (last years salary $800,000) is probably 1 of the best defensive minded UFA Dmen available, and could fill Lilja's role with little to no problems...Vandermeer would be pretty good as well.

Coliacovo is made of glass; Witt survived a run-in with an SUV :lol:

Jay McKee would make a nice addition - just doesn't drop the gloves that much, and he too has had some bad luck with injuries these past few seasons.

Coliacovo can hit AND score pts and will likely come cheap... as far as Witt being tough, like I already said, no one can argue that, but tough as nails ≠ good defenseman

As far as dropping the mitts, I actually prefer that a good physical d-man DOESN'T fight - leave that to 3rd and 4th line forwards... d-men serve a team better on the ice than they do in the box, as there are only 3 pairs and take one away and everyone else gets worked that much harder... with that said, I want them to not be afraid to drop them and have opponents know that they WILL fight... it just shouldn't be a priority for a d-man...

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Coliacovo can hit AND score pts and will likely come cheap... as far as Witt being tough, like I already said, no one can argue that, but tough as nails ≠ good defenseman

As far as dropping the mitts, I actually prefer that a good physical d-man DOESN'T fight - leave that to 3rd and 4th line forwards... d-men serve a team better on the ice than they do in the box, as there are only 3 pairs and take one away and everyone else gets worked that much harder... with that said, I want them to not be afraid to drop them and have opponents know that they WILL fight... it just shouldn't be a priority for a d-man...

Cola reminds me alot of Kronwall - only more injury prone.

He's a potentially solid #4 guy; chances are he'll get $2 million plus now that he's a UFA.

If Holland is looking for that inexpensive stay at home guy who'll block shots, and ruff-up opposing forwards I don't think Cola is that guy...Don't get me wrong - I'd take him, and he would do well in our system due to his above average skating/skills - it's just that he'll probably get more somewhere else.

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Cola reminds me alot of Kronwall - only more injury prone.

He's a potentially solid #4 guy; chances are he'll get $2 million plus now that he's a UFA.

If Holland is looking for that inexpensive stay at home guy who'll block shots, and ruff-up opposing forwards I don't think Cola is that guy...Don't get me wrong - I'd take him, and he would do well in our system due to his above average skating/skills - it's just that he'll probably get more somewhere else.

oh, I agree completely on what he is, that's why I rank him below Lils, I just think he'd make our D better if none of the guys I had listed ahead of him could be had... and for that reason alone, I'd be willing to take a flier on him

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I don't like this at all. I wish he'd stay and act as a kind of mentor to Ericsson. He might not help offensively, but he's a solid stay at home defenseman and a heck of a lot more defensively responsible than Stuart. Not cool. :(

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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Jay McKee (last years salary $800,000) is probably 1 of the best defensive minded UFA Dmen available, and could fill Lilja's role with little to no problems...Vandermeer would be pretty good as well.

Coliacovo is made of glass; Witt survived a run-in with an SUV :lol:

Jay McKee would make a nice addition - just doesn't drop the gloves that much, and he too has had some bad luck with injuries these past few seasons.

McKee's decent but he doesn't have the bulk Lilja does which gives Andreas an advantage on the PK. Vandermeer makes almost double what Lilja does.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that an *equal* replacement for Lilja's salary isn't as easy as most people think.

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I'd really like McKee to replace Lilja if he leaves, I watched a lot of him last year in Pittsburgh he's a fantastic shot blocker and while he may not have the strength of Lilja he more then makes up for it on his reach.

Very good defensively, and should be fairly cheap considering the injury trouble he's had.

He's fragile, but none of his injuries really effected his performance, they've all been pretty minor.

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I'd really like McKee to replace Lilja if he leaves, I watched a lot of him last year in Pittsburgh he's a fantastic shot blocker and while he may not have the strength of Lilja he more then makes up for it on his reach.

Very good defensively, and should be fairly cheap considering the injury trouble he's had.

He's fragile, but none of his injuries really effected his performance, they've all been pretty minor.

Do you mean in general? He's pretty much the same height as Lilja so it shouldn't be a drastic difference in that department.

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I'd really like McKee to replace Lilja if he leaves, I watched a lot of him last year in Pittsburgh he's a fantastic shot blocker and while he may not have the strength of Lilja he more then makes up for it on his reach.

Very good defensively, and should be fairly cheap considering the injury trouble he's had.

He's fragile, but none of his injuries really effected his performance, they've all been pretty minor.

He's a bit taller, and more wirey than Lilja - yet continues to play a pretty physical game, and doesn't shy away from blocking shots.

He'll probably fall into that $1 to $1.5 million per season category which the Wings can afford...IMO the only true benefit of Lilja was his willingness to drop the gloves from time to time (but since his head injury I don't think we'll be seeing Lilja doing much of that any more).

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