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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Filppula signs five-year deal

Valtteri Filppula signed a five-year contract with the Red Wings worth an average of $3 million per season, according to TSN. Filppula, 24, was Detroit's second-line center through the championship playoff run, often centering Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson. When Franzen was healthy during the Colorado series, that line was Detroit's top scoring unit.

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.


Blogger Kurt said...

Nice cap analysis Bruce. I take it the strategy will be to sign Chelli for the minimum or close to it, then let the D battle it out and to trade one or two defensemen by the end of training camp?

Overall, I think that is a pretty fair contract and certainly if Fil develops as hoped, it will be a bargain by year 3 of the deal. He should put up decent numbers if you assume that Hossa plays on his wing.

July 30, 2008 at 4:50 PM 
Anonymous SYF said...

Awesome signing by the Wings' brass.

BTW, Bruce? I think you and George James Malik of's Snapshots ought to get together and go bowling. You guys make reading all about the Wings that much more complete.


July 30, 2008 at 11:01 PM 
Anonymous Justin said...

Some fellow fans think that Lilja is going to be traded or waived to clear cap room. Where they get that from I don't know.

Question: We don't have to risk losing Ericsson if the Wings sends him down to GR, do we?

July 31, 2008 at 7:54 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Bowling? Let's do it.

July 31, 2008 at 9:05 AM 

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