Sorry, are we talking about Filppula here? You know, the guy who has only averaged more than .5ppg once in his career, who is prone to brutal fits of inconsistency, who lacks any sort of physicality, who is invisible when he isn't scoring, and who, in general, has simply not panned out as the player he was expected to be? On no planet does Filppula's play merit a salary of $5m. And he is by absolutely no means one of the best players on the team.
We have to be watching different games. Apart from Pav or Z, who is better than Flip on forward? Cleary got points this playoffs a lot from pucks bouncing off him and Franzen is a lazy POS who only scores goals when other players get him a spectacular scoring chance. Fil has tons more skill than Cleary and tons more work ethic than Franzen. He is an incredible puck possession player, usually wins battles along the boards with his finesse and is excellent (maybe best on the team) at skating the puck through the neutral zone and setting up in the offensive zone. Not to mention always back checking and being great on defense. You can't say anything of these things about Cleary or Franzen.
If you rate players but outcome versus expectation (which is what you;re doing), yeah, he's not going to be near the top. But if you rate players on what they actually do, he's the best forward on the team not named Zetterberg or Datsyuk.
It's just like Hossa's playoff run with us. The way people talked about it you would think he had 3 points in 30 games, when in reality he was still one of our top scorers, he just didn't play as well as we thought he would. That doesn't mean he sucks.
And just for the record, I don't think we should give him over $4m long term at least until he can prove that he is the 70 points Filppula, not the 40 point Filppula. I'm just saying he's a better overall player than both Franzen and Cleary.
Edited by Z and D for the C, 21 June 2013 - 12:56 AM.