Red Wings bringing back Valtteri Filppula with 2-year deal

Ruben Hill
July 2, 2019

Selected by Detroit in the third round (No. 95) of the 2002 NHL Draft, Filppula has 86 points (25 goals, 61 assists) in 166 playoff games and won the Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.

Valtteri Filppula, 35, a former teammate of Yzerman's in Detroit, signed with the team and will likely fill the role of No. 2 center.

Nemeth, 27, has played the last two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and was with the Dallas Stars before that.

Filppula, a versatile two-way center, played eight seasons in Detroit (2005-2013) before Yzerman, as GM in Tampa Bay, signed him to a five-year deal. All three moves impact the middle and bottom of the Red Wings' projected depth chart more than the top, but they will certainly have ripples on both the roster composition and lineup constructions for the next two seasons - and with varying levels of upside. "He can win faceoffs, he can play in all situations".

"We wanted to add another centerman and that allows the coach to put Andreas Athanasiou back to the wing".

Filppula said his decision boiled down to the Islanders and Red Wings, who offered him an extra year that NY did not.

Yzerman said he has potential open spot at right wing.

"He's a big, strong, solid, defensive defenseman", Yzerman said. At this time, however, that's a lot of defensemen for not enough roster spots.

With Green, Ericsson, Daley, Hronek and Danny DeKeyser in place, the addition of Nemeth doesn't leave much room for the likes of Dennis Cholowski or Joe Hicketts to find a place with the big club. Additionally, free agent signee Oliwer Kaski will look to contend for a roster spot and veteran Niklas Kronwall may choose to return for another season.

While exclusively a depth move, the addition of Pickard, 27, who's played 104 National Hockey League games over five seasons, was a necessary addition. Pickard is an experienced National Hockey League backup (32-50-9 career, 2.93 goals-against average, .908 save percentage) who can be called up if Jimmy Howard or Jonathan Bernier is injured.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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