As the Detroit Red Wings continue to clear space and maintain roster flexibility, there was another casualty. Veteran forward Valtteri Filppula has been waived and is more than likely to clear waivers when the transaction report rolls out tomorrow.
There have been players much better than Filppula put on waivers this year, so this roster move should not worry anyone. Filppula has been one of the “better” of the bottom-tier veterans the Detroit Red Wings have had around in the past few seasons, but the roster flexibility helps.
When it comes to his replacement, the Red Wings are likely just shifting around their veterans to comply with the league’s rules for the taxi squad that was implemented for the 2020-21 season. Filppula is just the latest player to be waived and moved to capitalize on roster flexibility.
So far this year, it was Alex Biega, Frans Nielsen, and Danny DeKeyser who have been moved around and shuffled amid roster moves. These players all cleared waivers and allowed the Red Wings some flexibility.
Valtteri Filppula is not the first and certainly won’t be the last Detroit Red Wings veteran to be put on waivers.
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In 2020-21, Filppula has played in 20 games where he has just two goals and three assists for five points.
He is advertised as a playmaker, and after eight years with the team before returning for the last two seasons, fans know that Filppula can make things happen.
But after a 16-year career in the National Hockey League, Filppula has seen his production falter just a bit.
Especially these last two seasons here in Detroit, where he was reunited with Steve Yzerman, who was his General Manager during his time in Tampa Bay with the Lightning.
While his 2020-21 numbers are not super exciting, his 2019-20 numbers are not much better.
Last season, Filppula played 70 games where he tallied six goals and 15 assists for 21 total points. He was a minus-42 last season which is not what the Red Wings are hoping for.
In 2020-21, Filppula is only a minus-four through fifty fewer games, but that is not as bad as last season was. While this seems like more of a flexibility move, it shows that Filppula is just the next veteran to be pushed through the revolving door.
With his move to the taxi squad, the Red Wings have opportunities. Other roster moves have led them to recall forward Evgeni Svechnikov from the taxi squad, meaning he might get his looks as part of the Red Wings youth movement that seemingly only happens in parts.
Keep an eye on the Red Wings to see what veterans are sent through the revolving door of waivers that the 2020-21 season has brought about.