Not many new faces dot the roster for the Tampa Bay Lightning heading into the opening of training camp on Wednesday.
But one will be the center of attention.
Free-agent acquisition Valtteri Filppula landed with Tampa Bay on the opening day of free agency signing a five-year $25 million contract after spending eight seasons in the Detroit Red Wings organization the past seven in the NHL.
After Tampa Bay bought out the remaining seven years on franchise icon Vinny Lecavalier’s contract in late June the Lightning needed to fill the void at second-line center. Filppula was the primary target of general manager Steve Yzerman who knew Filppula well from Yzerman’s days as an executive with the Red Wings.
Filppula who showed up in Tampa this week to begin informal skates with his new teammates is ready to start the next chapter of his career.
“It’s going to be exciting” Filppula said. “Hopefully it will be a good season for us and I’m looking forward to it.’’
Before arriving in Tampa...