Andreas Lilja admits he made a mistake when he turned down Detroit's $1M offer

andreasliljaunemployed.jpgSelf-awareness isn’t a particularly common trait in society, but it’s even less prevalent in the world of professional sports. After all, these are grown men playing a child’s game for a ridiculous amount of money and they are paid that handsome sum to believe in their abilities to the fullest.

Perhaps it is a savvy agent’s job to reign those dreams into realistic free agent goals, but sometimes that bravado can land them in athletic unemployment. Marginal former Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja admitted to MLive’s Ansar Khan that he might have dropped the ball when he rejected Detroit’s offer, looking for greener pastures.

The Red Wings offered Lilja a one-year deal for $1 million to return for a sixth season. He continued seeking a better deal on the market. When Detroit signed Ruslan Salei on Aug. 9 to a one-year, $750,000 contract (with another $350,000 in potential bonuses), the door was closed on Lilja’s return.

“We talked for a bit (with Detroit), I don’t think anything really came out of it,” Lilja said. “I was waiting too long myself, or I don’t really know what happened. And then they signed Salei and that window closed. That’s decisions you got to live with.”


“Of course, I regret it (not signing with Detroit),” Lilja said. “Now that we got here yesterday, got into my house — we’ve been here five years, it feels like home. The kids like it here. I think I was looking for something else, I guess.”

I hate to say it, but when injuries limit you to a season in which you play only 20 games and compile just two points, you might want to go ahead and take that $1 million offer.

When it comes to this year’s free agent market, greed might be good, but timing and self-awareness are much better. Lilja and other depth players are finding out the hard way.

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    Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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    Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

    The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

    So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

    You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

    Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

    Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

    Joffrey Lupul
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    Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

    The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

    This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

    From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

    “He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

    Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

    At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

    WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

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    Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

    We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

    Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

    Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


    Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks


    Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers

    Evgeny Medvedev, Nick Bjugstad
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    Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.

    Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.

    The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.

    In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.

    This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.

    The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.

    This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.