Jul 5, 2013, 3:17 PM EST
Valtteri Filppula got what he wanted.
The former Detroit center — who was gunning for a five-year deal worth at least $5 million annually — has signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Filppula had spent his entire professional career with the Red Wings, debuting in 2005-06 — as a teammate of franchise legend and current Bolts GM Steve Yzerman.
The 29-year-old Finn had a breakout campaign in 2011-12, scoring a career-high 23 goals and 66 points. But this season, coming out of the lockout, was a struggle in terms of overall offensive production.
He had just nine goals and 17 points in 41 games played, and his playoff production — two goals and six points in 14 games — left a lot to be desired as well.
Of course, Filppula was in the final year of a five-year, $15 million deal with Detroit and seemed determined to test free agent waters.
With a weak free agent center class and his 2011-12 season highlighting his resume, it was expected someone would make a sizeable offer, even with a down 2013 campaign.
Tampa Bay turned out to be the team.
With the move, the Lightning solve their second-line center situation, which had a sizable hole after the club bought out longtime captain Vincent Lecavalier.
The Filppula deal now puts Tampa Bay roughly $3.5 million away from the salary cap ceiling.
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 5
- Ovechkin wills Caps to stunning shootout win vs. Bolts 25
- Bettman: No decision on expansion, but they’re listening 8
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 67
- Leafs captain Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding 37
- Rangers confirm Staal suffered concussion 8
- Winnipeg to get outdoor game; Phoenix wants one 33
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 156
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 104
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 136
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (136)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)