The Red Wings announced on Wednesday morning that they have signed one of their key forwards from their Stanley Cup winning team, Valtteri Filppula, to a new 5-year, $15 million deal. The team now has all of their key players signed on, but there could be some more work done on their line-up heading into camp.
Filppula, 24, finished the regular season in Detroit playing in 78 games, scoring 19 goals and adding 18 assists. Not terribly high totals for poolies, but he did bring 11 points in 22 games in the playoffs, not to mention some good grit and quality ice-time to the championship team. His experience should raise his profile and his confidence, which should in turn, increase his production. With such a low total brought from last season, Filppula could be considered a sleeper pick in some pools, especially if he gets that increased production this season.
At $3 million a season against the cap, Filppula can be considered a bargain asset in a season or two. This is the kind of handywork that GM Ken Holland is known for in Detroit and he'll need it when the contracts come up for some of his bigger players in the coming seasons. Unfortunately, the Red Wings now have 21 players signed on for next season for the ceiling-touching amount of $55.7 million. For their last two spots on the active roster, they only have $1 million remaining, which isn't a lot. Of course, they can sneak by this by only have 21 players on their active roster, calling up and sending down players through the season to help fill gaps, but that's a lot of paperwork.