BY: John Mamola /

Following the Tampa Bay Lightning’s decision to buyout the remaining 32 million dollars of Captain Vincent Lecavalier’s contract, the hunt for his replacement was quickly engaged.  It didn’t take long for General Manager Steve Yzerman to find his man in a familiar territory for the Hockey Hall of Famer.

The Lightning signed seven year veteran Valtteri Filppula to a five year, 25 million dollar deal to be the replacement for Lecavalier.  However Filppula told WDAE’s “The Sports Page” that he doesn’t want to be compared to the longtime member of the Bolts.

“I don’t think about it too much.  I try to play my game and play as good as I can to help out the team” said Filppula.  “Obviously (Lecavalier) was a great player, and was a big part of the team but comparing us I don’t think we’re that similar type of player.”

Filppula is one year removed from his best season in the NHL when he scored 23 goals to go with 43 assists in 81 games. He followed that up this past season with nine goals and eight assists in 41 games.

Filppula said he expects to return to the states from his native Finland in August to prepare for his debut season in a Lightning uniform.