Filppula signs long term
The Detroit Red Wings made a subtle move Wednesday that could prove to be a spectacular one if Valtteri Filppula lives up to his potential.It's no surprise the Red Wings avoided arbitration with a player they see as a key cog going forward.
Filppula signed a $15-million, five-year contract with the Red Wings that keeps a talented forward on the roster for a while.
This is a deal about talent evaluation. At minimum, Detroit sees Filppula as a player who will earn his $3-million a year salary by being a solid 20-goal, 40-point option that is defensively responsible.
That's the worst-case scenario, really, given he's only 24 and has shown some scoring potential in the AHL and last season as a regular in the NHL.
The best-case scenario? Henrik Zetterberg's four-year, $10.4-million deal signed in September, 2005, back when he was still a 20-goal, 40-point option that was defensively responsible.
I don't think Filppula's going to be a 90-point player, but at that price, even 60's a bargain. And he's certainly got some nice linemates to work with.
Note the similarities here:
GM Ken Holland on Filppula today: "We're really excited about locking in a player this young and this good that keeps him off the market as an unrestricted free agent for a couple of years. He's the kind of player we can build around in the years to come."
Holland on Zetterberg three years ago: "I'm really happy that we got a deal done because we always wanted Henrik to remain on our team. He's a young player who has shown he can produce in the NHL, and yet there's room for him to grow."
There's something to be said for having confidence in your players, expressing that publicly and bypass a confrontation like the arbitration process.
Labels: Red Wings