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Red Wings sign Ilari Filppula, Valtteri's older brother

Jun 16, 2010, 2:59 AM EDT

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A bit of odd news down the wire tonight via Twitter from CapGeek as it seems Red Wings are once again dipping into the Finnish pro league.

Red Wings sign F Ilari Filppula, the brother of Valtteri

So now the question is, who the heck is Ilari Filppula other than being from Finland and costing the Red Wings next to nothing. Fortunately, mlive.com’s Ansar Khan is on top of things.

The elder Filppula (5-foot-11, 191) has played his entire pro career in the Finnish League. He won the Jari Kurri Trophy as playoff MVP this season, helping TPS Turku win the championship by picking up two goals and 12 assists in 15 playoff games. He had 12 goals and 37 assists for a team-high 49 points in 58 regular season games.

Perhaps the Red Wings are hoping that this Finnish experiment will work out with less aggravation than their test run with Ville Leino, who was traded to the Flyers this past season after the Red Wings ran out of patience with him. Much to the Red Wings chagrin, Leino then turned into one of the Flyers top performers in the playoffs. Meanwhile the player the Wings got in return for Leino, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, won’t be leaving Swedish team MoDo to come back and play for the Red Wings.

I would have to assume that if Ilari Filppula is going to become something other than a guy getting time grinding away in the AHL, he’s there to at least keep his kid brother happy by being stateside. Then again, you can’t put anything past the Red Wings when it comes to digging for gold in Scandinavia.

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