Red Wings: Valtteri Filppula’s transformation into a veteran presence

The Detroit Red Wings signed Valtteri Filppula through the 2020-21 season, and he has transformed into a veteran presence.

Last summer, the Detroit Red Wings made their splash in free agency by bringing in free-agent forward Valtteri Filppula on a two-year contract. Filppula was returning to the organization now as a veteran player, quite different than the player he was in his prior stint.

Back in 2002, the Red Wings would select Filppula in the third round of the NHL Entry Draft, and he would spend eight seasons with the organization from 2005-06 to the 2012-13 season. While Filppula has never been a top-flight player for an organization, he has been a great addition.

With the Red Wings, Filppula found his home on the second line, with the Tampa Bay Lightning more of the same, and so on during his journey around the National Hockey League with three other teams besides the Red Wings.

Filppula’s best season was in 2011-12 with the Red Wings, where in 81 games, he scored 23 goals and 43 assists for 66 points. Almost eight seasons later, in 2019-20, Filppula played in 70 games for the organization.

In those 70 games, he would score six goals and add 15 assists for 21 total points on the season with the struggling Red Wings.

During the 2019-20 season, Filppula would also manage to eclipse the 1000th career game mark, even crossing the 500-point threshold on the career.

On his latest deal that brought him back to the organization he started with, Filppula is making $3 million a season through the 2020-21 season.

He has cemented his role as a veteran presence during a time where younger players are working their way into veteran status as NHLers.

Over his time in the league, Filppula has become known as the pass-first forward who can make things happen offensively but also can provide support on the defensive side of things. Filppula often looks to dish the puck rather than take the shot. This works well with organizations’ prospects.

For example, the pass-first mentality makes him an excellent linemate for someone like Filip Zadina as Filppula can feed him the puck and allow him to get more scoring chances. Besides that, Filppula is one of the more well-respected players around the league but especially with the Red Wings.

Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman commented on Filppula’s return to the organization. He boasted that Filppula is a role model for the organization’s younger players and what this means to have him working with the developing players.

The Detroit Red Wings brought back Valtteri Filppula, and it was one of the smartest moves as he is a fantastic veteran to have around this organization.