Lighthouse Hockey’s Steven Smith joins Mike and Dan to talk about Valtteri Filppula, who went from indefensible signing to indispensable Islander in just a few months.
They talk about the comical contract signed on a day of high tension among Islanders fans and how Filppula found instant chemistry with another newcomer, Leo Komarov, on a team that was more successful than any fan ever dreamed it would be. They also recap a couple of highlight reel goals that show that the center was more than just the bad underlying numbers he had two years prior.
But then the biggest plot twist imaginable happened when Filppula left to return to his original team and the Islanders had to scramble to replace a guy who had become integral in a flash.
Of course, no tribute to “Weird Frans” would be complete without a discussion of the beloved Islander he most closely resembled on the ice, and how they formed a friendship after they both left the team.
Thanks again to Steve for coming on and for all of the great work he’s done at LHH all these years.
WEIRD BONUS MATERIAL!
- Dom’s signing article is exactly what everyone was feeling at the time.
- Tons of Filppula highlights from that season, all in one convenient YouTube video:
- This one is particularly sick:
- A 2-on-0 with Andrew Ladd? Sure, why not?
- Thank you, Frans:
"It's emotional."— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 24, 2022
Frans Nielsen saying goodbye to his incredible career. @DKIshockey #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/LZQI1k1kkS
What makes a “Weird Islander?”
We’re always open to suggestions about other Weird Islanders to discuss. Remember the criteria. Candidates must fulfill one of the two of the following:
- Played one (1) season or less for the Islanders or very short stints over multiple seasons.
- Be a veteran NHLer who is not generally associated with his time on Islanders.
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Theme song: “Knuckles” by Björn Falk. Hear more of his music on Spotify and at Bandcamp.
Drum sfx via Zapsplat.com.