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Yzerman doesn’t expect Filppula to match Lecavalier’s scoring

Aug 21, 2013, 9:24 PM EDT

vfilgetty Getty Images

To many, the Tampa Bay Lightning replaced long-time center Vinny Lecavalier with Valtteri Filpulla this summer.

While the former Detroit Red Wings center seems primed to fill that second-line pivot spot, Bolts GM Steve Yzerman told that he’s expecting to see a player with different strengths.

“Val is a totally different type of player than Vinny,” Yzerman said. “He’s a good, solid, all-around complete player who checks and wins faceoffs. We can score goals, but we need to become a better defensive team, and Val is the type of player who can play that game, in all those situations.”

It’s also plausible that 2013 second overall pick Jonathan Drouin can help make up some of the offensive punch that the Lightning lost with Lecavalier’s buyout.

Regardless, Filppula wants to create more offense than he did in a tough 2013 season.

Yzerman would gladly take that, and strong puck possession from the 29-year-old after handing him a five-year, $25 million contract.

  1. lordfletcher - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    still can’t believe that contract…

    is the hype over Yzerman trailing off yet?

  2. bardown66 - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    This team is regressing. Maybe im ignorant but do they have any other centerman in the farm system? because stamkos plus filppula , and a bunch of nobodies wont get them into the post season.

    • mathieug79 - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:21 AM

      They have Tyler Johnson who can start off as 3rd line center and move up to 2nd line Center in the future and move Filppula to LW. They have Vlad Namestnikov, Alex Killorn, No teams want their rookies to play 2nd line minutes in their first year, it would be unfair for the kid. In Filppula Tampa bay gets a guy who is used to play against the other teams top lines. I would really like to know how you see a team that has #1 farm system in the league (per hockey prospectus) regressing??Then again if you include Marty St Louis into “bunch of nobodies” just shows how much of an idiot you are!

      • jb8588 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        I feel the team has the talent both on the current roster and in the farm system to build a long-term winner, but some of Yzerman’s moves have no question been head scratchers. At forward, things look good for the future with guys like Killorn, Namestnikov, Johnson, Panik, Palat, Connolly & Drouin all in the mix for the near future. Goaltending is a question mark of course (but what else is new?) and of course overpaying for slackers like Matt Carle & Matt Carle on D has hurt the back end. If the D plays overall like they have the last couple of seasons, then it’s going to be a LONG season.

      • jb8588 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        * Matt Carle & Eric Brewer

      • mathieug79 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        @jb8588 I agree but what some guys don’t understand, Yzerman had to blow up some of the mess the 2 idiotic/Brian Lawson left him. He HAD to buyout Lecavalier, why? because his contract was going to be a nuissance for years to come. He still has players that he doesn’t want on the team, but their contracts are not moveable, Ryan Malone, Mathias ohlund. I understand some guys think Matt Carle is a bum, but look at his stats, last season they match up with past stats. Last year under Jon Cooper I thought he really stepped up, was more confident with the puck, and that gave him more PP time.

        Goaltending has been a question mark, but I think the defense system Guy Boucher was trying to implement really worked against our Dmen and Goalies. Is it a coincidence Mike Smith career really took off when he signed with the Coyotes? No, even Bryz had some good season in Phoenix. I think having Rick Bowness work our defense corp. will help tremendously.

        As for the Filppula signing please read the link I posted below in reply to hockeydon…It could be a long season, but I think our Rookies are going to learn a lot from this season no matter what, I still think we can squeak into the playoffs.

      • jb8588 - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        Your last assessment is definitely right on. Vinny has always been my idol (and has even gotten to know me over the years even though I live in DC), but I understand why he was bought out. The old ownership definitely ruined the Bolts and put them off track with the exception of the Eastern Conference run a few seasons back. Dan Boyle gone, Vinny greatly overpaid, almost trading Stammer within the first month of his rookie season…and that’s just the start. I’ve watched many Admiral games after Cooper took the helm there and I think he will be a very solid coach and will give the young guys a chance to show what they have at the NHL level. Boucher’s poke-check first system REALLY hurt our D’s mentality because it seems that the only guy out there willing to throw the body around is Gudas (though Hedman was starting to do it more as the season went along, FINALLY). As a Bolts fan, I just can’t stand going through another season of uber-soft hockey from the D and seeing other teams’ stars doing whatever they want without paying a price.

  3. jb8588 - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Drouin was third overall, not second overall.

  4. theschwartzsays - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    While I have to agree that his scoring was down last year I have had the opportunity to watch Val play over the past several years regularly. He can be streaky point wise, Stevie really is accurate in saying that he is a well versed player. He can win face offs, play pk, play pp, can play both defensive and offensive roles whether online 1 or 3, and can also play wing. He’s a smart player with good hands and speed and can score when he gets in a groove. A change of pace might be good for him. He has the ability to be a consistent 60+ point producer in the right situation. I think this is exactly the type of player Tampa needs. They have been all offense and it hasn’t home well for them. With a strong number one scoring like Val brings a second line player that can produce and help keep the puck outta their own net. Something Tampa has struggled with. I think Stevie has done well. He made it to the Eastern conference championship his first season as gm. I think hea working on building a team that is strong all the way around. He’s doing so by building a core. He knows centers are most important position on offense and with stamkos as number one and Val at two he’s giving the team depth as well as bolstering pp and pk. We will have to wait and see but as a long times wings fan I’ve had the opportunity to see how having depth and players that are well rounded can make your team go far even when it’s not the best team on paper. Plus it’s hard to sign great players these days as most of the superstars have gotten locked up on long term deals already. Hence the fact david Clarkson a guy w one 30 goal season and a one dimensional player (as far as weve seen) can land a 6 million dollar deal. Compared to that Tampa struck gold. I agree 5 is too much but at the going rate these days it’s seems about right.

    • hockeydon10 - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:52 AM

      He has the ability to be a consistent 60+ point producer?

      He consistently hovers just shy of .5 ppg. He had one 60+ season to help bump him above .5 ppg.

      Not that having a guy that can score at .5 ppg is bad, mind you. That’s not bad for a 2nd line guy. It’s also offense most teams would love to have.

      • mathieug79 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:08 AM

        Here read the following Hockeydon10, what most fans don’t understand is he can put up 15pts for all I care, I want someone as our #2 line center who can provide us defence, play against opponents top lines, kill penalties, and maybe chip in offensively once in a while.

      • polegojim - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        Mat – I wish Val and Steve the best as former Red Wings, but… if what NutsNBolts said was completely accurate, the Red Wings would have kept him.

        Fact is that Val has the ‘potential’ to be the player who NutNBolts describes… but has never consistently PERFORMED like that… and is why the Wings let him go.

      • hockeydon10 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        I wasn’t criticizing his defensive play. I wasn’t criticizing his face-off skill. Nor was I criticizing how his play was on the pp, pk, 5-on-5 or any other metric.

        You’ll notice that what I’m saying is that he is not a 60+ point guy over his career.

  5. clefty1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Myself being a Wings fan I do not see how Fil will help serve as the second line center, he could not do it for a Wings team that is more talented then the Lightning. Babcock gave Filppula every opportunity yet Filppula could not get it done, he was to inconsistent. Mathieug79, what you don’t understand is a second line center needs to do more then just chip in offensively that is what a third and forth line center are supposed to do.

  6. LampyB - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Of course Tampa has talent in the pipeline, they faces the Griffins in the Calder Cup finals this yr (Detroits team). To get that far you’ve got to have depth.

  7. whisperingbomb - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Filppula is a perfect fit for the Lightning. Some Red Wing fans believe everything Holland does is brilliant. So the fact that they didn’t resign Filppula means he isn’t any good. Holland has in fact made many poor moves and not resigning Filppula was a poor move. Filppula is a solid two way forward who can kill penalties and is solid on the power play. He is strong in every area of the game, and his work ethic and dedication will set a great example for the young Lightning players. The fact he never became a top scorer for the Wings is missing the value of his game. As Babcock said when the Wings lost Filppula in the final game in the playoffs due to injury. “We would have been a much more dynamic team with Filppula”. I respect Babcock and Yzerman’s evaluation of Filppula’s game more than blindly loyal Wings fans.

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