Anaheim Ducks sign veteran defenceman Andreas Lilja to bolster blue-line

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks signed veteran defenceman Andreas Lilja on Monday to bolster a defence with major problems after just two games.

Lilja signed a US$600,000, one-year contract shortly before Anaheim wrapped up a three-game season-opening road trip at St. Louis. The Swedish defenceman isn’t expected to play immediately for the Ducks while working out visa issues.

The Ducks agreed to terms with Lilja over the weekend, shortly after losing new defenceman Andy Sutton to a broken right thumb Friday night. Anaheim also is without new defenceman Toni Lydman, who had a serious bout of double vision possibly related to migraine headaches before training camp.

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Anaheim’s defence has suffered without its two big-name acquisitions to replace retired captain Scott Niedermayer. The Ducks were outscored 8-1 in their first two games of the season, with goalie Jonas Hiller facing 92 shots.

Lilja missed nearly a year of hockey after sustaining a concussion while playing for Detroit in February 2009. After appearing in 11 playoff games with the Red Wings last spring, the nine-year veteran turned down a contract offer from Detroit to test the free agent market.

He played in the pre-season on a tryout contract with San Jose, which released him despite a solid performance.