Salary cap woes for the Detroit Red Wings disappeared on Wednesday as veteran forward Kirk Maltby opted for season-ending surgery on his injured right shoulder.
The Red Wings will place Maltby on long-term injured reserve, freeing up $750,00 in cap space. Combined with Brad May being sent to Grand Rapids, the Wings have cleared enough room to activate now-healthy defenseman Andreas Lilja.
Lilja will be available to the Red Wings on Monday when they visit the Colorado Avalanche. It will be exactly one year and one day since he last played in the NHL, having suffered from post-concussion symptoms since a fight with Nashville’s Shea Weber on February 28, 2009.
Maltby’s recovery period is expected to be four to six weeks, meaning he could return for the playoffs, should the Red Wings make the postseason.