So, when is it exactly that a player,"arrives."
Clearly, when people talk about an athlete arriving, they're not referencing his appearance at a particular spatial and temporal location.
Sure, new players show up on teams every season, but this seems not to be the same thing as arriving on the team.
Six seasons ago, Valtteri Filppula showed up on the Red Wings and the team has been waiting for him to arrive ever since.
Filppula came to the team full-time in the 2006-07 season and was touted as perhaps the next best thing to Henrik Zetterberg by coach Mike Babcock.
While the expectations for Filppula were high, however, the actual product never quite came close enough to what was promised.
Sure, Filppula has been one of Detroit's most defensively sound forwards since his rookie season and has been able to contribute offensively in some big ways.
But he never seemed completely comfortable on the offensive side of the puck, which is odd considering his demonstrable offensive instincts and talent.
Needing to shoot more has been the constant, if lone, criticism of his coach and his teammates and they thought that if he simply shot as much as he passed, he just might become the player they knew he could be.
Season after season, this never came to pass.
While still a valuable forward as recently as last summer, Filppula's name started being lumped into the trade rumor mill as some thought that he might be the first piece GM Ken Holland would try to move to acquire another forward or defenseman.
Rumors are rumors of course, but given Filppula's stalling in reaching his potential, they didn't seem too far off considering the fact his arrival was now long overdue.
Good things come to those who wait, I guess.
It may be late in coming, but so far this season, we've seen Filppula emerge into the dangerous offensive threat he always seemed capable of being.
Currently on pace for 75 points, he's the highest scoring Red Wing not named "Datsyuk" or "Franzen," and what's more, he's still exhibiting the same defensive prowess he's heretofore been defined by.
Six seasons into his NHL career, Valtteri Filppula seems to have finally been cleared for arrival.
Here are five reasons why.