Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman got to know Valtteri Filppula well as a player and as an executive with the Detroit Red Wings. Friday, Yzerman announced he has signed the Finnish center to play for Tampa Bay.
"We are pleased to sign Valtteri to a five-year contract today," Yzerman said in a statement. "We feel he is an outstanding, all-around centerman who brings a winning pedigree to our organization. He fills a much-needed position for us at center and his skill, work ethic and character will make him a great addition to our team."
Filppula, who reportedly received a $25 million deal, essentially will replace former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier, who was issued a compliance buyout then signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Filppula, who played one game with Yzerman (April 8, 2006) before the former Red Wings captain announced his retirement, moves to Tampa Bay after playing seven full seasons in Detroit. He had 17 points in 41 games in 2012-13 then six points in 14 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
He has 100 goals and 151 assists in 483 career games. Filppula won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008 and went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2009, when he had a postseason-best 16 points in 23 games.
Filppula's best season was 2011-12, when he put up 66 points on 23 goals and 43 assists in 81 games.