Any Wings fan is familiar with the hard work Valtteri Filppula put into his game this past-offseason. After coaches insisted time and time again for him to shoot the puck more often, we are starting to see a much more aggressive (and much more productive) player donning the No. 51 jersey.
While Filppula is heading into his prime at the age of 26 and has a very bright future ahead of him. It is a Filppula of another kind who is starting to catch the eyes of those inside the Red Wings organization.
Ilari Flippula, older brother of Valtteri and forward for the Grand Rapids Griffins, has also started to come into his own as of late.
Filppula has 15 points (6g, 9a) in 12 games this season for the Griffins. The Wings seem smart to have signed the brother of one of the Red Wings most promising players this past offseason. Even at the age of 29, Ilari is still entering his prime as well and could find himself with the big club if his stellar play continues.
As with the Sedin’s in Vancouver and the Kostitsyn’s in Montreal–before a trade earlier this season sent brother Sergei to Nashville–the Wings could find themselves with their own combination of brother’s on the ice.
Is it wishful thinking? Prior to the season I would have said yes, but with Ilari’s recent breakout it seems a possibility that the brother’s will be reunited on the ice once again.
Let’s hope Ilari dons a red sweater for the Wings sooner than later.