Filppula signs five-year deal
Filppula was scheduled for an arbitration hearing, Friday.
Filppula has been a regular with the Red Wings for the past two seasons after being drafted 95th overall (third round) in 2002. Filppula is looked at as a big part of the franchise's future and locking him up until the age of 29 is a sign of that. Filppula's locker is beside Henrik Zetterberg's on a two-locker wall with the team looking for Filppula to play follow the leader. Pavel Datsyuk has been close with the young Finn -- the two are in a constant one-on-one soccer game in the halls or in the locker room.
With Filppula signed, the Red Wings have just two more players left to fit on their payroll. First comes defenseman Chris Chelios, then a forward like Darren McCarty who will take a two-way contract.
Including Darren Helm (and he might play in Grand Rapids instead), the Red Wings have 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies under contract, meaning they just have to squeeze Chelios in under the cap ($56.7 million).
The Red Wings have approximately $478,668 of room under the cap for Chelios with a 23-man roster that includes Helm, who makes $598,000. The league minimum salary is $475,000.
Because the Wings are so close to the salary cap, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is likely to be in Grand Rapids. He can clear waivers and his $900,000 cap hit is much larger than Derek Meech's $483,333.