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Lightning sign free-agent centre Valtteri Filppula to 5-year contract

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 5:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Lightning sign free-agent centre Valtteri Filppula to 5-year contract

A person familiar with negotiations has confirmed that the Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to sign free-agent forward Valtteri Filppula to a five-year, $25 million contract.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Lightning had not announced the deal Friday, the first day of the NHL's free agency period. ESPN.com first reported the agreement.

The Lightning did announce that they've signed rookie first-round pick Jonathan Drouin to a three-year, entry-level contact. Drouin was the third pick in the draft last weekend.

Filppula has shown flashes of promise during his previous eight seasons with Detroit. After scoring 23 goals and finishing with 66 points in 81 games two years ago, he managed just nine goals and 17 points in 41 games last season.

Quote of the Day

He's a winner. We want winners here, and he's a proven winner. He's won two Stanley Cups. He's 22 years old and been a big part of it. He's got all the right tools. He's got size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) and strength. He's exactly what we were looking for. He's going to be a big piece of our team for many, many years to come.

— Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on Brandon Saad, who he acquired in a trade with the Blackhawks on Tuesday
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