Detroit is at a crossroads.
Here in 2013 the Detroit Red Wings need to decide where they see themselves moving forward and should Valtteri Filppula part of it?
I say no for a few reasons.
Detroit is in transition and even being under the cap Detroit has many questions to answer going forward. Who to keep, who to let go and perhaps who to trade?
First off, Detroit has a cap hit of $49,675,000 next year, which leaves them in great shape with a little over $18 million dollars in cap space (Capgeek.com). Remember the cap will fall from $70.2 million to $64.4 million and Detroit will be one of the few playoff teams that have a huge cap space number, which is why I say trade Filppula.
Filppula will require a contract exceeding $5 million dollars a season and giving a player that has only had 20 goals and 60 points once in 8 seasons is a bad deal. I like Filppula, he is a solid two way player but has never blossomed into that next level like scouts thought he would.
The power is in Filppula’s court. This free agent class has significantly weakened with the news on Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf re-signing long term with the Ducks. Center’s are always in high demand need and with Val’s increased faceoff percentage and the fact that he’s defensively responsible Filppula will definitely get the money he’s looking for. I just don’t think Detroit in particular should take a cap hit over $5 million dollars for him especially when the team has to re-sign Jimmy Howard to a long term deal that will probably cost anywhere from $5-6 million a season. Not to mention Damien Brunner will also probably be looking to get a bump in pay entering his second NHL season.
Essentially I’d rather see Detroit spend the money on Nathan Horton or David Clarkston. The money would be about the same and Detroit needs goals. I would also like to see Stephan Weiss in a the Winged Wheel as he would fit what Detroit does and is better in the offensive zone. He’d also probably be cheap coming off an injury.
Detroit and Filppula remain far apart deal wise. The Wings see Val in the $4 million dollar range with Franzen and Kronwall while Filppula and his agent see themselves in the $5 to 6 million dollar range. So instead of losing him in the offseason, trade him to a team looking to make a run. Get a pick, think about the future and his money could go into a player that will help Detroit next year.
Here is a look at Filppula’s career numbers and you can see why he isn’t a player worthy of money that would rival Pavel Datsyuk’s contract.