Weiss energized for start of Wings' camp

Veteran center to work the middle of line between Alfredsson and Franzen

Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 1:23 PM
Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The first day of Red Wings training camp has brought a renewed energy to center Stephen Weiss.

After the coaching staff divided 63 players, forming three different squads – Team Delvecchio, Team Howe and Team Lindsay – Weiss was ecstatic to learn that he will center a line between Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen as camp gets underway at Centre ICE Arena on Thursday.

Weiss, who spent the first 10 seasons of his NHL career in Florida, will begin his stint with the Red Wings as their second-line center and contribute to the power play.

“I feel lucky. To play with two players like that is going to be awesome,” Weiss said. “I’m going to move the puck wide and go to the net and let them do their thing. But to play with two guys like that you can’t do too much better than that.”

Weiss gives the Red Wings another instinctive two-way centerman to compliment the talents that Pavel Datsyuk brings to the top scoring line. Datsyuk will begin camp working alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

A talented play-maker, it would seem that Weiss could benefit from playing alongside proven scorers like Alfredsson and Franzen. Having spent his entire NHL career in the Eastern Conference, Weiss has a definite appreciation for what Alfredsson will bring to the Red Wings, and potentially, the second line.

“I think his puck-possession, his intelligence are what separate him from other guys,” Weiss said. “He’s real smart. His panic-threshold with the puck is so high. He has great patience and as a centerman to play with wingers like that is pretty special. You move the puck wide and go to the net and he’s going to find you or find somebody else.”

Weiss has seen even less of Franzen over the years, but the former Plymouth Whaler made some observations on the Mule in last week’s informal skates at Joe Louis Arena.

“He’s just a big, strong, power forward,” Weiss said, of Franzen. “He can score, make plays, and has really good speed, too, so we have a good mix on the line. I can move it either way and get going to the net in the middle and those two can make plays with each other. I’m just going to try to get those guys the puck and get out of the way and let them do their thing.”

The addition of Alfredsson and Weiss should also provide a spark to the power play, which at times struggled to main puck-possession last season. Both newcomers are very good puck retrievers and should give the power play a boost.

“In this day and age it’s pretty tight out there 5-on-5, so the power play, anytime you can take advantage of that you’re going to help out your team in the long run,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “I think adding Alfie and Weiss both of them are tremendously skilled. Alfie has that great shot, great vision, and Weissie with all of his skills. Hopefully we’ll have two (power-play) units that can produce and help each other out.”

The Red Wings training camp is broken down to three separate teams:

TEAM DELVECCHIO

Forward Lines

Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Justin Abdelkader

Mikael Samuelsson-Luke Glendening-Jordin Tootoo

David McIntyre (PTO)-Louis Marc Aubry-Martin Frk

Philippe Hudon-Andrej Nestrasil-Mitch Callahan

Defensive Pairings

Danny DeKeyser-Jakub Kindl

Brian Lashoff-Nathan Paetsch (PTO)

Marc McNulty-Alexei Marchenko

Goalies

Jonas Gustavsson

Tom McCollum

Coaches

Tom Renney, Spiros Anastos

TEAM HOWE

Forward Lines

Johan Franzen-Stephen Weiss-Daniel Alfredsson

Drew Miller-Cory Emmerton-Patrick Eaves

Anthony Mantha-Andreas Athanasiou-Teemu Pulkkinen

Tyler Bertuzzi-Barclay Goodrow (PTO)-Trevor Parkes

Defensive Pairings

Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson

Xavier Ouellet-Brennan Evans

Gleason Fournier-Max Nicastro

Goalies

Jimmy Howard

Jared Coreau

Coaches

Bill Peters, Jim Paek

TEAM LINDSAY

Forward Lines

Gustav Nyquist-Joakim Andersson-Todd Bertuzzi

Tomas Jurco-Riley Sheahan-Tomas Tatar

Marek Tvrdon-Calle Jarnkrok-Landon Ferraro

Triston Grant-Zach Nastasiuk-Kevin Lynch

Defensive Pairings

Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith

Adam Almqvist-Ryan Sproul

Michal Plutnar-Richard Nedomlel

Goalies

Petr Mrazek

Jake Paterson

Cam Lanigan (PTO)

Coaches

Jeff Blashill, Keith McKittrick

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