The Detroit Red Wings have brought back a familiar face, signing Valtteri Filppula to a two-year contract. New GM Steve Yzerman also has a history with the veteran forward from their days with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Filppula played in Detroit for the first eight years of his career. MLive’s Ansar Khan reports the deal is for $3MM per season.
Filppula may be 35, but he continues to put up solid numbers as a bottom-six defenseman and played a major part of the New York Islanders turnaround last season. For a Barry Trotz team that focused more on defense this year, Filppula posted impressive numbers, scoring 17 goals, his most since the 2013-14 season and finished with 31 points.
With Detroit, Filppula gets a slight raise as he made $2.75MM last season. He will try and find a role somewhere on the third or fourth line and adds to a group of veterans that now have slipped to the bottom-six, including Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader and Luke Glendening. He also could have been brought in to prevent too many young players being vaulted into roles they aren’t ready for as the team now has a number of prospects who are close to being NHL ready, including Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno.