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Red Wings bet big on Weiss

Aug 21, 2013, 8:15 PM EDT

weissgetty Getty Images

Signing Daniel Alfredsson was the headline-grabbing move of the Detroit Red Wings’ summer, but it wasn’t the biggest one. Instead, that came in an intriguing gamble: handing former Florida Panthers forward Stephen Weiss a five-year, $24.5 million contract to essentially replace Valtteri Filpulla.

In an ideal world, Weiss will fit in seamlessly to the Detroit machine. He’s a versatile forward whose two-way play often got lost in the obscurity that comes with playing in Florida. (Weiss even fits in with an aging core, as he’s logged a lot of mileage at 30.)

Weiss’ contract year was anything but ideal, though.

He was limited just 13 games and the results were pitiful; he scored just four points and registered a -13 rating, needing four contests to register his first shot on goal in 2013.

Beyond the awful run, his injury concerns are significant worry for a player signing a substantial contract.

On the bright side, he’s the type of free agent acquisition who isn’t striving to become his new team’s best player. As Weiss told the National Post, it seems that his goal is merely to fit right in.

“There really wasn’t a lot of thought going into [the deal with Detroit],” Weiss said. “To join an organization like this is pretty special for me. [Yzerman] was one of my favourite players, no doubt. He’s a guy I looked up to for sure. But I’m not dreaming about trying to go in there and doing something similar. Hopefully I can just help out.”

Detroit likely hopes that he’ll help out quite a bit.

  1. earpaniac - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    This contract made me scratch my head a little.

  2. jmcurran28 - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    I like it. Weiss will finally have the chance to thrive in a great system, and be surrounded by great players. I’ve also heard good things about this Babcock guy.

    #LGRW

    • polegojim - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      Yes… I personally think they should keep Babcock and Holland around.

      Their decision making appears to be very sound… ; )

      Can’t believe anyone actually posts criticism of them at this point… when they’ve made little-to-no errors in judgement…. and 22 years straight in Cup Playoffs. Pretty sure they’ve earned ANY and ALL benefit of the doubt.

      GO RED WINGS!

  3. fusionix7 - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    He’s Filppula’s replacement but actually worth the money. He put up decent numbers surrounded by no talent in Florida. Now he has the chance to flourish in Detroit. In other words he’s Filppula but he’s actually realized his offensive potential. It might be big money but it’s still an underrated signing. If he’s healthy I think he will put up the best numbers of his career.

  4. hockey412 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    The guy’s put up better numbers than Filppula, that’s for sure…good hockey player. Not a bad contract when you think of where the cap will go in the coming years, if he produces like he has in almost every year except last year (and like fusion said, considering who he was surrounded with).

    I’m curious as to the “injury concerns” comment above though…I thought that outside of last year and some trouble in 2003-2005, he’s been pretty durable? No?

    • hockeydon10 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      He’s been fairly durable. He’s missed games due to injury, but it’s not been a ton of them.

  5. clefty1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Weiss is an upgrade from Filppula, he will give the Wings a more stable second line center and give Babcock the opportunity to play Datsyuk and Zetterberg together. Weiss will also have more talented players surrounding him then what he had in Florida.

  6. Tim Finnerty - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    I also think that Weiss is an upgrade from Filppula. If you look at their last full season, Filppula had 66 points and Weiss had 60. In that season (2011) the Red Wings finished 5th in their conference and Panthers finished 3rd in their conference. In 2013 the Panthers were one of the worst teams scoring 112 goals compared to 203 in 2011. What was the biggest difference? Weiss was injured pretty much they whole season. I am not saying that he was responsible for all those points but it shows how important he is to the lineup. Weiss may not have as good of hands as FIlppula but, I think he is a harder worker with a better shot and is not afraid to go into the corners unlike Filppula. Furthermore, it seems to me that Weiss actually wants to play for Detroit. He has continuously stated that when the Wings called it was almost a no-brainier. I would always get frustrated watching Filppula never playing to his full potential as a Wing. Weiss will be surrounded by better talent this year and he will have one of his best years yet playing with Alfie and Franzen, proving he is worth the contract he received
    .

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