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Tampa Bay Lightning sign Valtteri Filppula, who exits Detroit for bucks and ice time

Updated 3x at 6:24 PM: Well, former Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula got his money, and he gets the chance to replace Vincent Lecavalier...

Nicholas Cotsonika put it best:

Update: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness weighs in:

Valtteri Filppula felt he should be paid like a top paid center in the league. Tampa Bay gave him the money. The former Wings center signed a five-year deal with the Lightning for $5 million a season. That was close to the numbers he was asking out of Detroit.

Former Florida Panther Stephen Weiss will be spending the next five seasons in Detroit after agreeing to reportedly a five-year deal worth $4.9 million a season. Filppula went off the Wings’ radar once they signed Stephen Weiss for five years at $4.9 million a season.

The Wings never closed the door on having Valtteri Filppula return, but with the signing of Weiss that meant his days in Detroit were over.

“I haven’t thought about (leaving Detroit), but obviously it’s a possibly that could happen,” Filppula said during the Wings’ end-of-season locker cleanout. “It’d be tough. It’s been a really great place to be. I’ve been so happy here. We’ll see if we go … if that’s what’s going to happen.”

The Wings did make offers to Filppula in August and September before talks broke down.

Update #2: Well-said:

Update #3: Here's the Bolts' press release:

LIGHTNING SIGN FREE AGENT CENTER VALTTERI FILPPULA

Stanley Cup Champion Inks Contract with Bolts

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent center Valtteri Filppula (FIHL-poo-luh, VAL-tuhr-ee) to a five-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

“We are pleased to sign Valtteri to a five-year contract today,” Yzerman said.  “We feel he is an outstanding, all-around centerman who brings a winning pedigree to our organization. He fills a much-needed position for us at center and his skill, work ethic and character will make him a great addition to our team.  On behalf of the Lightning we’d like to welcome him to the organization.”

Filppula, 6-foot, 193 pounds, played in 41 games with the Detroit Red Wings last season, recording nine goals and 17 points.  He ranked fifth among team forwards for assists (8) and points.  Filppula’s 17:46 in average ice time was also fourth among Red Wings forwards.  He won 179 of 323 (55.4 percent) of face-offs last season to lead the team.  Filppula also played in all 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games for Detroit last season, recording two goals and six points.  During the NHL lockout he returned to his native Finland to play for Jokerit of the Finnish Elite League, where he posted six goals and 15 points in 16 games.

A native of Vantaa, Finland, Filppula has played in 483 career NHL games, all with the Red Wings, registering 100 goals, 251 points, 15 power-play goals and 12 game-winning goals.  He has averaged 16 minutes or more in average ice time in each of the previous six seasons, including a career-high 18:15 in 2011-12, the NHL ‘s last full season.  That year he also established career highs for games played with 81, goals with 23, assists with 43 and points with 66.  Filppula has excelled in the face-off circle during his time in the NHL, posting a 52.2 career win percentage.

Filppula, 29, won his first Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008.  He has played in the postseason in each of his NHL seasons with the exception of one (2005-06), amassing 105 games played along with 19 goals and 57 points.

Detroit’s third-round pick, 95th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Filppula has represented his native Finland on numerous occasions.  He won the Bronze Medal with Team Finland at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and also played in the 2012 IIHF World Championships.  In 2004, Filppula was named a tournament all-star at the IIHF World Junior Championships.

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Comments

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Wow. Good luck with that. I seriously doubt this guy will get any better. I mean playing with Dats and Z he was still a scrub. Good riddance.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 07/05/13 at 03:12 PM ET

Avatar

Did Stevie just feel sorry for him and signed him to rock bottom what he would accept? Figured he wouldn’t go to columbus after their signing today.

Posted by teldar on 07/05/13 at 03:13 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Watch how the Wings will shut him down, Mr. Cooper.  It will frustrate you to no end.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/05/13 at 03:15 PM ET

SK77's avatar

I am going to enjoy the shit out of watching Pavel & Co. dominating Tampa’s new 1st line center next year.

Posted by SK77 on 07/05/13 at 03:15 PM ET

Hank Scorpio's avatar

I actually think Val is going to put up reasonably big numbers if he ends up on a line with Stamkos and St. Louis.  If he’s not on that line, then I expect him to be his usual 40 - 50 points.  Interesting signing for Tampa.

Posted by Hank Scorpio on 07/05/13 at 03:19 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Playing like a #1 center would be the best way to get paid like one in Detroit, Val.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 07/05/13 at 03:21 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I am going to enjoy the shit out of watching Pavel & Co. dominating Tampa’s new 1st line center next year.
Posted by some kid on 07/05/13 at 03:15 PM ET

I woulid imagine that Stamkos is still going to be the 1st line center, unless their coach loses his mind over the summer.  But the GM just did, so maybe its catching.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/05/13 at 03:21 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Hmmm…. makes me wonder a little about The Captain.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/05/13 at 03:21 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Filppula probably fits best with Tampa, but that is too long for too much for my taste…

As far as the Captain. He’s on the hot seat. He came in and they had success his first year with a long playoff run. Then he’s gone through 2 systems and coaches while cleaning up the bad contracts from a previous GM, but with little success to a team not too far removed from the Cup.

Posted by d ca on 07/05/13 at 03:29 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Nick Cotsonika:

Yzerman knows Filppula well. Which is why I’m a little surprised he gave him five years and $25M. Good player, but not that good.

A little surprised? Hell, Nick, you should be down on the floor trying to figure out where your jaw landed. I can see some idiot GM giving Fil that much, but Stevie Y? That’s very strange.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/05/13 at 03:30 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Wow. Good luck with that. I seriously doubt this guy will get any better. I mean playing with Dats and Z he was still a scrub. Good riddance.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 07/05/13 at 03:12 PM ET

I’m saying he pulls a Ville Leino.  He’ll have one excellent year away from Detroit and and ends up playing in Europe before you know it.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/05/13 at 03:39 PM ET

Avatar

I can see some idiot GM giving Weiss that much, but Kenny H? That’s very strange.

Posted by jkm2011 on 07/05/13 at 03:40 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

A little surprised? Hell, Nick, you should be down on the floor trying to figure out where your jaw landed. I can see some idiot GM giving Fil that much, but Stevie Y? That’s very strange.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/05/13 at 03:30 PM ET

Stevie Y’s track record as a GM makes me a little tense about the “heir to Ken Holland” talk that’s been used to refer to him in the past.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/05/13 at 03:41 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Well there you go Holland haters, the guy you want to replace him, just paid more for Val Flippula than Kenny did for Weiss. Come on Stevie, be better than our landing spot for castaways. Now get on the phone and trade us Stamkos.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/05/13 at 03:41 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Ducks trade Bobby Ryan to the Sens. Replacing him with Cleary? The guy kills them every year in the post season. Good bet.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/05/13 at 03:42 PM ET

Redwingman17's avatar

I’m shocked that Stevie Y would pay him that amount Hmmm?

Posted by Redwingman17 on 07/05/13 at 03:43 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I expect Flip to do well in Florida, getting more ice time and being primarily a setup forward. He hasn’t had an impressive swagger to his game since the 08 run. He could use a change, and so could Detroit.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 07/05/13 at 03:47 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

He’ll be called Val Manatee by bolt fans after watching him avoid contact by skating around perimeters in offensive zone. His agent demanded 5M per because the amount of sunscreen he’ll need in tampon bay will nearly break him.
Maybe Stevie Y has been out in the sun to long down in Florida. I know Doug Wilson has judging by his George Hamilton dark tan and his crappy stubborn GM style and Sharks so close for so many years now.
Sucks because since Yzerman took that job I’ve been rooting for his team but now the Wings move to the Wales Conference, they must die vampire

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 07/05/13 at 04:08 PM ET

Avatar

Hey, remember a couple years back when people were grousing about how it was time for Holland to step aside so the Wings wouldn’t lose Yzerman to some other team as their GM?  Good times!

Love Stevie.  Great player… but holy bleep he hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory as a GM in Tampa.  The VL situation was a dumpster fire, (he could have traded him at any time prior to his NTC kicking in and gotten out from the deal instead of taking a monster buyout in the crotch), he launched the first coach he hired out of the airlock 2.5 years after he got him, and now he’s done this with Filppula.

Oh yeah, and the team has done worse in the standings the last three years.  In maybe the worst hockey division of all time.

At this point I’m not entirely sure I’d take him over Fisch for Jiri’s gig, much less asst GM, much less an actual GM.  The guy has Jordan front-office stank starting to waft from him.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/05/13 at 04:38 PM ET

Avatar

Oh really?  Wasn’t the master school by the rookie by giving him a 1st round pick for someone named Quincey?

Posted by bababooey on 07/05/13 at 04:54 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Curse you Andrei Vasilevsky!

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/05/13 at 04:57 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

They bought out Lecavalier so they could replace him with Filp?

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 07/05/13 at 05:50 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.