Wings close to signing Lilja

According to GM Ken Holland, the Detroit Red Wings are close to signing Andreas Lilja.

“We may have something done by the end of the week,” Holland said. “We weren’t far apart late in the season. I’m optimistic we’ll get something done.”

The Wings are still trying to work out a deal with defenseman Brad Stuart, also a potential unrestricted free agent.

Holland met with Stuart’s agent, Pat Brisson, during the NHL draft last weekend. Stuart’s shoulder has been bothering him recently, and he is scheduled for tests Wednesday.

If I had to pick one player from last season’s roster to not sign, it’d be Lilja. With Chelios seemingly coming back and now supposedly Lilja, that gives us nine defensemen for eight slots. And that’s not even including Stuart, who is the one unrestricted free agent that I really want us to sign. Eight days until the free agency period begins. I can’t believe it’s almost here.

Update – June 25, 2008: According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, Lilja is close to signing a two-year deal.

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