To many, the Tampa Bay Lightning replaced long-time center Vinny Lecavalier with Valtteri Filpulla this summer.
While the former Detroit Red Wings center seems primed to fill that second-line pivot spot, Bolts GM Steve Yzerman told NHL.com that he’s expecting to see a player with different strengths.
“Val is a totally different type of player than Vinny,” Yzerman said. “He’s a good, solid, all-around complete player who checks and wins faceoffs. We can score goals, but we need to become a better defensive team, and Val is the type of player who can play that game, in all those situations.”
It’s also plausible that 2013 second overall pick Jonathan Drouin can help make up some of the offensive punch that the Lightning lost with Lecavalier’s buyout.
Regardless, Filppula wants to create more offense than he did in a tough 2013 season.
Yzerman would gladly take that, and strong puck possession from the 29-year-old after handing him a five-year, $25 million contract.