God I love alliteration. A little too much perhaps.
Anyway, you've all seen it, and I'm a little late getting to this story. I was worried about this right up until Holland said he had two- and five-year deals on the table and was confident it would get done before arbitration. That was all I needed. And Holland is a man of his word, not only reeling in Wally, but for the preferred long-term deal.
3M is a little much and the Wings will definitely make moves to shed salary, and A2Y's got Kenny confirming it (Lilja? Samuelsson? Plz?) and you have to wonder about Chelios who is still unsigned. (It will probably get done, I'm guessing.) But for Wally the term is far more important than the value right now. By the end of this contract (hell, possibly by the end of this year) Fil will be underpaid.
Yes he only netted 36 points this year, below a lot of the other RFA forwards, but remember this guy is a monster defensively (which is what earned him a role on the team in the first place) and also note that his offensive totals are diminished by the fact that he gets zero PP time behind the Circus, and the #2 unit of Buckets/Mule/Huds. Wally is a beast and I would take him over any Wings' forward except the Eurotwins (yes, even Hossa, due to the age factor).
Which wingers will Wally wind up with as winter waxes? There's a strong possibility he'll be on the wing if the Babcock split up the Circus, and if not very likely he'll be centering the #2 line with Mule and Hossa. However, if the Wings do split the Circus I'd love to see him center the #3 line. The Wings have the offensive depth to roll three lines and Wally should be playing at center where he belongs. I could see Hossa/Dats/Homer, Mule/Z/Huds, Cleary/Fil/Leino? Depends on how Leino turns out, but you've got the Finnish connection there. Potentially lethal offense. Like I said before, take those nine guys, throw in Kopecky and Samuelsson if he's still here, jumble them in a big bag before every game, and pick your lines at random. We will still win the West.
WWWD? Win with the Wings. Wbitches.