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Filppula ‘here to make’ Lightning a better team, says Yzerman

Jul 7, 2013, 10:22 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings - Game Six Getty Images

Steve Yzerman knows what people are going to say – or have already been saying – about Valtteri Filppula.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, along with Yzerman the general manager, signed Filppula on Friday, during the league’s frantic free agent frenzy, for $25 million over five years.

Prior to Filppula signing in Tampa, the Lightning bought out Vincent Lecavalier, who began his career with the Bolts as a first-overall pick all the way back in 1998.

Lecavalier, as a free agent, then went out and signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.

So yes, connect the dots and it’s easy to see why people feel Filppula is there to replace Lecavalier. Yzerman, at least publicly, doesn’t feel the same way.

“We’ve changed our team; we’ve acquired a good player who’s going to be a real positive contributor to our team, who’s a real good guy,” Yzerman told

“We understand everybody’s going to say, ‘Oh, he’s here to replace Vinny.’ He’s here to make us a better team and he will make us a better team.”

  1. mathieug79 - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Just with Vinny and Pouliot off the team, makes this team way better defensively! Adding Filppula as our #2C for a couple of years while Tyler Johnson/Vlad Namestnikov ease into the NHL at the Center Position, Once they are established, you can Move Filppula to LW. I dont see why people are all over Steve Yzerman for this signing?? The price for free agent player last couple of year has gone up tremendously, If Tyler Bozak is worth 4.2M for 5years. I dont see why a guy who can win faceoffs like him, play the PK like him, and play #2 Center position. Filppula is a proven winner, I would pay 800,000$ more anually for someone that is a proven winner, who can show/teach the youngsters what it takes to hoist Lord Stanley.

    Obviously Bozak won’t get that extra $800,000, because he wont ever be a winner with Nonis at the helm. Also would love to congratulate the Philadelphia Flyers for signing Vinny, I hope he’ll be Healthier, and faster than the last 2 seasons.Thank you for everything Vinny! I Wish you the best with Flyers, as you were my favorite player when I was youngster!

    • clefty1 - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      No way is Filppula worth 5 million per. Fil had every opportunity possible and he never amounted to what the Wings had hoped for. Fil does not give the Lightning an upgrade at his contract amount and the only reason why he won is because of the Wings team he played on..

      • mathieug79 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        …”The wings team he played on” exactly its a team sport. He knows what it takes to win, he was apart of that team, He saw how the team had to sacrifice everything they had for that Stanley Cup, once you win a cup…YOU’RE A PROVEN WINNER!!! I don’t care if you played 4th line minutes, 1st line minutes, One guy won’t cut it, Its a team sport!

  2. LampyB - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    You’ve got blinders on. Sure Filppula is a good player, but he’s not a “winner” when it comes down to historical performance at the $5M mark. I’m glad the Wings dropped him, and based on his stats with Detroit he’s a $4M player at most. Yzerman must get him to the next level to realize a payoff or its a bad contract.

    • mathieug79 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      So your saying that Tyler Bozak is better than Filppula? In the “new CBA” NHL Derek Roy is worth $4M…can’t kill penalties, and is not very good defensively. I don’t understand why everyone is saying this guy overpaid, this guy overpaid and so on…

      If you look at contract signed the last 2 years EVERY UFA contracts signed were overpaid compared to some of the team friendly RFA deals. David Clarkson =Overpaid and wanted to go to Toronto, Was Lecavalier worth 7.72M$./year? NO, Is he worth what he signed for? We’ll see.

      There is a lot of questions to be asked, Im sure there’s nothing Bozak, Filppula and Clarkson want more than prove their worth!

  3. polegojim - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    Well… I’ll be positive…

    Other than Babs, if anyone else in the league can get the best out of Val, it’s Stevie.

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