Former NY Islander Valtteri Filppula makes hockey history in Europe

New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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His time on Long Island was short, but Valtteri Filppula filled the role left by the departure of Frans Nielsen well. In his one season with the NY Islanders, Fillpula scored 17 goals and 14 assists and registered four assists in eight playoff games.

Known as "Weird Frans" to some due to his role as the third-line center and wearing number 51, Filppula recently made hockey history in Europe. After leaving the NHL in 2021-22, Filppula headed to Switzerland, joining Genève-Servette HC of the National League.

Wednesday, Filppula and Genève-Servette were crowned victors of Europe's Champions Hockey League. Like in soccer, the Champions Hockey League consists of Europe's top teams competing to become the continent's best.

Winning the CHL, Filppula became the first player to win the CHL and be a member of the Triple Gold Club. The Triple Gold Club consists of players who have won Olympic Gold, a World Championship, and a Stanley Cup.

Filppula won a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008, followed by Olympic gold and a World Championship in 2022 with Finland. Only 30 players are part of the illustrious club, and Filppula is only the second Islander to join the group, along with inaugural member Tomas Jonsson.

"I am happy to join other big European names with my record," Filppula told RTS Sport, translated from French. "I was lucky to be able to play for so long and to have been part of teams capable of winning. It makes me proud."

Genève-Servette and Filppula defeated Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Elite League 3-2, with the 39-year-old playing 18:20 and recording one assist.

Filppula seems to have found new life in Switzerland, averaging over a point per game during his first two seasons with Genève-Servette and is on pace for 32 points in 51 games this season.