May 4, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT
The Detroit Red Wings aren’t known for making bold free agent signings, but they took a chance when they inked Stephen Weiss to a five-year, $34.5 million contract last summer. So far it’s burned them.
Rather than be the second-line center they were hoping for, Weiss was shut down on Dec. 10 and recently had surgery to deal with scar tissue related to his December sports hernia operation, per the Detroit Free Press. The procedure is minor, but he’s still at least a month away from being able to work out.
Weiss has since admitted that he actually started the season with a hernia and chose not to speak up about it. In retrospect, he realizes that was a mistake, according to the Macomb Daily.
Regardless, the fact that he’s still not out of the woods is a potentially big problem given that the 31-year-old needs to, as Red Wings GM Ken Holland put it, have a “a great summer” in order to bounce back.
“We’re going to continue to look for answers to why is he not getting healthy,” Holland said. “It’s hard to know where he’s going to be in September. A lot of where he’s going to be in September is really going to be about, is he going to be able to … have a June, July and August where he’s able to hit the gym and come to camp healthy, fit, ready to go.”
Weiss had just two goals and four points in 26 games. The Red Wings got by this season because some of their young players were able to take a step forward, but this is still a team in transition and they could certainly use Weiss’ services on the second line.
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