The Flyers lone acquisition at the 2017 NHL trade deadline, at least as far as actual living, breathing human beings are concerned, is forward Valtteri Filppula, acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Filppula has an expensive contract, worth $5 million against the salary cap, with one more year left on it. He’s probably not worth that deal at this stage, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a helpful player for Philadelphia, assuming he’s here until the end of the contract.
What are we getting in this guy? We reached out to George FitzGerald from SB Nation’s Lightning site, Raw Charge, who provided this scouting report:
Filppula is a defensively capable, second line center. If he's your third line center, all the better. He is a playmaker that will likely make you scream shoot as he doesn't use his wrist shot enough to keep teams honest. Also, don't let him take one-timers. He seriously sucks at them.
He was signed by the Lightning to fill in the hole left when Vincent Lecavalier was bought out after the lockout. Flyers fan should know how Lecavalier turned out and why that was a good idea. Filppula did well in the first couple years, but got displaced in the line up by Tyler Johnson.
He's still more than capable as a defensive center that can go up against the likes of Crosby, Toews and Ovechkin in the playoffs and hold them in check. He'll kill penalties effectively and win faceoffs at a decent enough clip. He's still got something left in the tank and has had a better offensive season than he did last season.
The problem for him in Tampa was simply that his offense didn't keep up with his price tag and the Lightning ended up having a lot of center depth come around that made him expendable as well as a hindrance to the salary cap next season.
Filppula is also a competitor and a winner. The last time he wasn't in the playoffs was 2003-04 when he was still in Finland playing for Jokerit. He's also sported an A for the Lightning off and on during his tenure when Cooper has rotated the alternates around.