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Filppula lands in Tampa Bay: five years, $25 million

Jul 5, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT

Filppula 2

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.

The move, combined with the Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss signings, marks a changing of the guard in Detroit.

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.

  1. bruceeff - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Tampa Bay overpaid by a wide margin but they were short on options. Future buyout?

    • mathieug79 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      Nope, in detroit he was never given fair chance, he has a 23G 43A season. Filppula can play in every situation, give him some good linemates and he’ll thrive. He wins faceoffs, he kills penalties, and plays good defense! I think under Coach Jon Cooper he will no doubt have a breakout year, and all you haters will lay off him! IMO rather have this guy coming from Detroit system, (even at 800k more) than Tyler Bozak! I still think the worst deal today was Ryane Clowe to the devils!

      • polegojim - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        Your crazy… he was given EVERY opportunity.

        But I like your hopeful approach.

  2. phillyphanatic77 - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Just another overpay to go along with all the rest today. But he does slot in nicely at the #2C spot. Although I don’t think you can say he’s an upgrade over Lecavalier.

  3. redgreentape - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Thank You Tampa Bay. I was afraid Wings would resign him. Yes, he does score some but not when needed, and power plays, not much help their either. He no go to guy. He is not worth 5 mil, Mgt screwed up on this one.

  4. dtownbeatdown - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Good riddance. What he is, is a great puck handler, and he can score… sometimes, but he is weak on the puck, and streaky. No consistency and definitely not worth 5 million a year. But what do I know I am just a fan.

    • polegojim - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Yes… all due respect… but only a little of it.

  5. mathieug79 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    In all fairness to the haters, If BOZAK is worth $4.2M/year for 5yrs. and David Clarkson worth 5.25$M/year for 7 years including No movement clauses (with one good season). Even if we overpaid for 1M$/year, how much prospects/picks would we have to give up for a #2C????? Obviously Steve Yzerman wanted to keep his depth and his picks, So what other options were left when Weiss picked Detroit over $? Valterri Filppula, I think this guy with a more offensive system will thrive! At least we know we can trade him(unlike Clarkson who in TO for 7 years with a NMC) He wont be bought out! he’ll play his 5 years and become the perfect #2C. Its not like Vinny last season at 2C was putting monster point, if he gets 40 fine, 60 bonus, 70 gravy! I expect him to put up 50-70 pts next season!!!! playing alongside Stamkos, St Louis, Drouin, Malone, Purcell, Tyler Johnson, Brett Connolly will only make him better!

  6. mtheparrothead - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    You make it sound like he was surrounded by a bunch of schmucks in Detroit. He’s not magically going to play better because of the players you listed

  7. vikes1980 - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    I hear all this talk about how he is going to be around better talent in Tampa.. get a clue.. He played with Datsyuk,Zetterberg,Lidstrom , some of the best players to Ever play this game… I understand you think he is good after having one good season in 7 seasons, but he is barely mediocre.. you’ll find that out soon enough… your team really blew this one..and if you think Stevie Y is gonna help, don’t forget they were together in Detroit… facts are facts… good luck

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