Valtteri Filppula Signs Long Term Deal; Bowman to the Hawks

Adam GreuelSenior Analyst IJuly 31, 2008

The Wings signed another player based on his potential yesterday.

Restricted Free Agent Valtteri Filppula and the Detroit Red Wings avoided arbitration when they both agreed to a $15 million, five year deal.

While Filppula may not be worth the money yet, this deal may turn out to be a complete steal.

Many think Filppula's potential is a two-way, 70 point, second line center within the next year or two and if it does happen, this will most definitely be a steal.

Filppula centered the second line for most of last season, scoring 36 points and displaying strong defensive abilities.

Filppula played great in the cup winning run as well, scoring 11 points in 22 games. He centered Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson on the second line throughout the playoffs.

The last time GM Ken Holland signed a player based on his potential it turned out to be a complete steal. He signed Niklas Kronwall to the same deal that Filppula got. The only thing that was stopping Kronwall from being a top defenseman was injuries, so it was a big risk.

After this year though, the doubts were put to rest as Kronwall finished top 30 in scoring for a defenseman and provided hit after hit in the playoffs. His exceptional play makes him the top number three defenseman in the entire NHL. Let's hope this deal turns out like Kronwall's.

Also, in a surprise move today, coaching legend Scotty Bowman has left the Detroit Red Wings to become a Senior Advisor to the Chicago Blackhawks.

It was widely believed the Bowman would remain loyal to the Red Wing franchise for the remainder of his hockey career.

Bowman was likely excited at the fact that he would be working with his son and it is understandable why he would choose the Hawks over all other teams.

Bowman's son, Stan, is an Assistant GM of Hockey Operations with the Blackhawks.

While it is hard to see Bowman go to a division rival, I wish him all the best in his new surroundings.