With the NHL trade deadline a week away, Red Wings fans are calling for some action more than usual. The sporadic feeling of this team has the fanbase worried. Unfortunately, the problems this team has to overcome cannot be solved with a simple trade. It’s more than likely that nothing will happen, but let’s have some fun speculating anyway.
After having a career season last year, Valtteri Filppula really has not done much at all this season. Rumors abound as to how much his agent wants to get him for resigning next season. The $5 million figure is a price tag I doubt the Red Wings are willing to pay.
Now, I’ve been a huge Filppula fan since he broke onto the roster way back in 2006-2007. He was the second Red Wings player I met (first was Brett Lebda. Please finish your laughter before continuing) and the first autograph I personally received. I’ve watched his play closer than most fans, and I have seen those moments of brilliance where I know he can be so much more than he is. Last year fans finally witnessed it with his 66 points in 81 games.
This year, however, is a completely different story. While an injury caused him to sit out for a bit of time, he only has thirteen points in twenty-six games. It’s frustrating to see him floundering like this, especially when there is top talent in Grand Rapids waiting to get a shot at a permanent spot on the team.
The question is: Does Filppula have any trade value?
He’s a 29-year-old left handed shot that is a solid top six forward on pretty much any team in the league. Given the right winger or center on his line, and Filppula could be fairly unstoppable. But with a contract up at the end of this year, any team that may be interested in trading for him may not be willing to sign him come July.
It’s not quite clear what exactly the Red Wings should be looking for at this trade deadline. Another power forward? A young, successful defenseman? Or maybe set their eyes on prospects and draft picks because that may be what we need more of in the future.
And what teams would be interested in Filppula? A lot of ex-Red Wings get a lot of press on the market because of that standing, and it doesn’t always work out (see: Lebda and Ville Leino). Filppula more than likely wouldn’t have the same fate as them, but don’t be surprised if potential buyers are wary.
We have to realize that no matter who we may get at the trade deadline, it won’t be a perfect fix for the Red Wings. The problems this team has encountered run deeper than just adding one player. Even if it is somehow Jarome Iginla they sign, how big of an impact will he have in less than twenty games?
Whether Filppula is traded at the deadline or not is still a mystery. He may be a key role in some sort of package deal (maybe for the likes of Iginla or Jay Bouwmeester?), or he could bring enough on his own. Don’t be surprised if anything does happen that it’s not a package deal.
But only time will tell. And time is ticking away.