DETROIT – Valtteri Filppula’s time in Detroit appears to be over.
And the main sticking point remains money.
“He’s looking forward to July 5,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview. “There’s a significant difference. That’s why it doesn’t appear we’re positioned to do a deal.”
Holland last spoke with Filppula’s agent on Monday.
The Wings did make offers to Filppula in August and September before talks broke down.
Filppula, who made $3 million last season, is believed to be asking for about a $2 million raise a year.
“It makes good sense for Fil and his agent to hit July 3 and see what’s out there,” Holland said. “I’ll stay in contact with his agent. If it’s time to leave, it’s time to leave.”
On Wednesday, teams can begin talking to potential unrestricted free agents before the official signing period begins on Friday at noon. This is something new under the latest collective bargaining agreement.
“When players hit the open market they’re probably moving on,” Holland admitted. “Players usually get offers that are better because so many teams are in play. This year is different because of the reduced cap.”
Holland will continue to talk with Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner, the Wings’ other two unrestricted free agents, to try and work out deals.
There seem to be sticking points with both of them.
With Cleary it’s not money, but length of a deal, while Brunner seems to be more about money.
Cleary is 34 and Detroit will more than likely not want a deal of more than two years.
Brunner had his ups and downs in his first year in the league, so it’s hard to set the bar on his value.