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Lightning sign Filppula for five years

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Updated: 7/11/2013 3:01 pm

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning attempted to fill the void left by Vincent Lecavalier on Friday, signing unrestricted free agent center Valtteri Filppula to a five-year contract.

After Lecavalier left Tampa earlier this week to sign a five-year, $22.5 million deal with Philadelphia, the Lightning landed Filppula for a deal reportedly worth $25 million.

Filppula, 29, expects to fill the second-line center spot vacated by the 33- year-old Lecavalier's departure.

"He fills a much-needed position for us at center, and his skill, work ethic and character will make him a great addition to our team," said Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

The Finnish centerman was a third-round draft pick by Detroit and recorded 100 goals and 251 points over 483 career games with the Red Wings. He had a career-best campaign with 23 goals and 66 points in 2011-12 and posted nine goals and eight assists in 41 games with Detroit last season.

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