The Tampa Bay Lightning signed C Valtteri Filppula on the first day of free agency, finding the center they needed to replace the recently bought out Vincent Lecavalier.
According to a report from TSN in Canada, Filppula’s five-year deal will pay $5 million per season.
In 41 games in 2012-13, Filppula had 9 goals and 17 points after scoring 43 points in 2011-12 for the Detroit Red Wings.
Here is the release from the team announcing the signing
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent center Valtteri Filppula (FIHL-poo-luh, VALtuhr-
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, allaround
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
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.