What seems to stick in the minds of Tampa Bay Lightning fans early on is Valtteri Filppula‘s five year contract worth $25 million. And of course that begs the question: Is he worth it?In the decade-plus he’s been in the NHL, Filppula’s shown that there is no secret why he is in high-demand. After having had arguably his best year in 2011-12, demonstrating strong defensive talents as well as a career-high in points, Valtteri’s game took on a new level of mastery of hockey.
However, his performance during an injury plagued lockout season left a lot to be desired and some questions in the minds of Red Wing fans.
Keep in mind, however, that Steve Yzerman wasn’t the only GM knocking on Filppula’s door in the days leading up to July 5. His suitors were well aware of his winning Stanley Cup experience and the maturity that a player acquires as he learns how to handle himself under sustained playoff pressure.
I believe that with his hockey sense and his solid offensive and defensive play, Valtteri Filppula will certainly turn heads in the Tampa Bay Times Forum and around the league. What remains to be seen is whether the striking abilities Detroit fans witnessed in the last few years were a peak or a preface to an even more successful career. Overall, I’m optimistic that Lightning fans will be in for an exciting season as they watch Valtteri perform.
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