It was announced earlier this week that the Sharks, despite giving him the number 6, a nice teal jersey, and a trip to Europe, have cut Andreas Lilja from the roster. This brings them down to the 24 man roster needed for opening night in Sweden against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A cruel cut, to be sure, but would we be saying that if the Sharks hadn't brought him with them to Europe? I'm not so sure.
I suppose a heads up so he could get his family, who is still hanging out in Detroit, back to Sweden with him might have been nice, but then again he also turned down a secure 1 year spot with Detroit earlier this off season. I don't blame him, you have to go where you think you'll get the most minutes, (most money) and a decent contract term. He thought he could get a good deal here, and maybe he could have if the Sharks hadn't already been pretty full up in the 6/7 Dman department.
Mike Moore had a good camp and could easily take the 6/7 spot. We already know Demers and Joslin can handle it, Wallin ain't really a top line guy, and neither is out Patron Saint, the venerable Kent Huskins, (KENT HUSKINS?!), and while they'll each likely be in a higher pairing, they could each easily play in that spot as needed. We had Leach too, and we gave him the boot before the Sharks headed overseas. Really that spot that Lilja was most likely to slide into was already pretty full. He was never really going to be the type of player to take Blake's place, and he likely wanted more money than some of our rookies would get. The Sharks simply don't have the space for another Hamburger like deal.
He may have been a boon to our PK unit and he certainly isn't afraid to block shots when needed, but whatever he could give us, it clearly wasn't enough.
The fact is, someone was coming home from Europe NOT a Shark. This time, it was Lilja.