Originally written on Kukla's Korner  |  Last updated 10/2/14

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Philadelphia Flyers during preseason action at the Wachovia Center on September 22, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
from John Niyo of the Detroit News, The Wings don't have many pending free agents on the roster, but they do have a few, and none more notable - or mystifying - than Valtteri Filppula, the 29-year-old Finnish center who has become a lightning rod for criticism this spring. In this new-and-improved, salary cap-strapped NHL, where nearly every team insists its focus is a draft-and-develop strategy -- and where fewer and fewer top-tier players are making it to free agency -- Filppula's bound to be a player with opportunities to cash in elsewhere. The problem for the Wings is deciding what value he still has here in Detroit, where the former third-round pick has been a regular in the lineup ever since Steve Yzerman retired in 2006 and a regular in coach Mike Babcock's doghouse for a good, long time, as well. read on
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