Pending unrestricted free agent Valtteri Filppula has played his NHL career with only one team – the Detroit Red Wings – but that could change this summer.
Filppula, 29, is in the final year of a five-year, $15 million contract with the Red Wings.
“I don’t know, it’s too early to say right now,” Filppula told The Detroit News. “It’s been the only team I’ve played with. There’s nothing but positive things to say (about the organization), and it’s a great place to be.
“We’ll see what happens this summer. I haven’t thought too much about it. Possibly it (leaving the Red Wings) could happen. It would be tough.”
Originally from Vantaa, Finland, Filppula joined the Red Wings in the 2005-06 season.
He had a breakout campaign in 2011-12, scoring a career-high 23 goals and 66 points. But this season, coming out of the lockout, was a struggle in terms of overall offensive production.
He had nine goals and 17 points in 41 games played.
GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: