This was only Filppula's 4th full season. He did show considerable improvement in his 2nd. That improvement, and a nice contract, led a lot of fans to think he was somehow supposed to turn into an all-star while playing on the third line with almost no PP time the next year. So, even though he did improve that year, some people just looked at the lack of goals and thought of it as a disappointment. Failing to meet unrealistic fan expectations doesn't make him a disappointment.
This last year was the first time Flip was really expected to step up. Then he got stuck on the third line again to start the year, and had a significant injury. Despite that his play did improve considerably. He was easily our third best forward in the playoffs.
There's more to the game than scoring. Homer scores a little more, but doesn't do any of the other things as well. Then Homer has to take a discount due to his age. Fair or not, his age is an additional risk factor that has to be considered when valuing a contract. If Homer was 27 or 30, he almost certainly would be paid more than Flip or Cleary.
So you think Cleary and Filppula are both good value for 3M? And Homer should make less because he is older? Well I'll take Homer's 45 points in 68 games to Cleary's 34 in 65 games any day. The Wing's PP without Homer is dismal, what in the Wing's game is missing when Cleary is not playing? Cleary, in my opinion has not been the same since he got hit in the face with the puck.
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