Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 11/7/14

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 04: Bill Guerin #13 of the Pittsburgh Penguins battles for the puck against Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Detroit Red Wings during Game Four of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 4, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
It was all but a given that Valtteri Filppula had played his last game with the Detroit Red Wings, and now that’s official. Filppula signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning (and GM Steve Yzerman), multiple outlets reported. The Red Wings had tried to get Filppula locked into a contract extension prior to this past season, then continued to chat with Filppula and his agent in recent weeks. However, Filppula opted to look for greener pastures and a shot at more meaningful ice time. He may have found those things in Tampa Bay, though in moderation. Filppula’s contract, at $5 million per season, comes out just $100K over what Detroit handed Stephen Weiss, and the Lightning have a clear-cut No. 1 center in Steven Stamkos. Filppula had 17 points for the Wings this past season, on the heels of a 66-point breakthrough showing in 2011-12. He had been a key playoff contributor for Detroit, scoring numerous key goals — and that was especially true in Game 7s, which made his exit in the finale vs. Chicago due to injury particularly frustrating.
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