You cannot take hockey away from me. I will not let you.
Let’s Talk About Valtteri Filppula And His Future
February 9, 2013Posted by on
I feel like writing about Fil and I’m going to so deal with it.
Age: 28 years old
Position: Center/Left Wing
Current contract: $3 million cap hit (actual salary of $3.5 million this season)
Attractiveness Level: He’s really pretty…reeeaaaalllllyyyyy pretty.
Awesome older brother? Awesome older brother! (I miss Ilari. My friends and I had dinner with him one year at the Training Camp banquet. He rules.)
Fil is one of the stronger defensive forwards on the Wings. Sometimes, he’s too defensive. Whether he’s playing center or wing, you don’t have to worry about him in the Wings zone. The offensive zone is another story. I’m not saying he’s “bad” offensively, he’s actually quite good at the following move:
- Skate the puck in over the blue line
- Slow down at the top of the circles
- Look to see if any teammates are open
- Try and cut into the center of the ice
- Have shot blocked by defenseman
I swear he does this move 3 or 4 times a game. At least when the other team gains control of the puck, Fil gets back and does his job defensively. We all know that Fil CAN be – a top line player who is capable of getting 70-80 points a season. Unfortunately, since he’s been a regular in Detroit, he has not done this enough. He may have two or three great games, then disappear offensively for 3 games. It’s NOT from lack of effort (Franzen-esque, if you will), but he just doesn’t have “it” consistently enough to be a top player.
I would call Fil a good top 6 support player. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are the real deal. Fil has never been able to hold down the second line center spot on his own for long periods of time. To be fair, this year he was given Mule and Stupid Samuelsson as wingers, so he didn’t exactly have much of a chance, but this proves my point. Datsyuk was amazing last season while playing mostly with Bertuzzi and Franzen. Fil didn’t have his breakout year until he was paired with Zetterberg and Hudler. Would this have happened with Bert instead of Hank on his line? Doubtful.
Fil’s Future – Yay or Nay?
I’m in the middle of if we should bring Fil back. I feel he’s already hit or is in his prime as a hockey player. Per usual, it depends on what it’s going to cost the Wings. He does deserve a raise, but he’s nowhere near Hank/Pav numbers. Since he’s currently making $3.5 million a season, a slight raise would put him at $4 or $4.5 million a year. If you could get Fil to sign a 4 or 5 year deal at that amount, I would sign him. If he wants a longer term or more money, I would have to cut ties with him. I’ve been a Fil supporter and have his jersey, just don’t think he is worth top line money when he’s a secondary top 6 forward.
You know the drill – give me your thoughts on the twitter device. I’m interested to see what other people think about Fil and his future in Detroit. Until next time…