I disagree. Filppula is an average 2nd line player but a brilliant 3rd line player. We're still waiting for his break-out season instead of a break-out month. He'll have to break 41pts before you can loudly proclaim him a top six player. I'm sure he can break that barrier but the fact remains that his best season in the NHL was 40pts in 08-09.
He's not a 'brilliant' 3rd-liner either. He's a far better player with better linemates. This past season, and '08 where he spent a bunch of time with Datsyuk, and then a red-hot Franzen in the playoffs proves that.
That's the worst part of the Bert signing. It will most likely push Flip down, and take whatever PP time he was going to get. Flip isn't going to break out of anything from the third line. He couldn't with Hudler and Sammy, he won't with whomever he gets this year. We'll likely end up spending $7.5 million on a third line that scores 35 goals. I kind of hope we trade him now. He deserves a better opportunity.