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Wings get UFA that they wanted in Weiss

Former Panthers' center has averaged 36 points in 11 NHL seasons

Friday, 07.5.2013 / 2:41 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
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Wings get UFA that they wanted in Weiss

Former Plymouth Whaler Stephen Weiss is coming back from season-ending wrist surgery in March. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Stephen Weiss was the No. 2 center that the Red Wings coveted most as the 2013 free agency market opened on Friday.

It’s reported that the former Florida center has agreed to a five-year contract to head up north with the Red Wings.

With Valtteri Filppula testing the free agency waters, the Red Wings were looking for his replacement to take over the center spot on their second line. Weiss has the creativity and distribution skills to make his linemates better.

Another solid two-way center in the Red Wings’ mix, Weiss’s skill set should blend perfectly with the team’s puck-possession style. The Weiss acquisition also will allow coach Mike Babcock to keep Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk together on the top line with winger Justin Abdelkader.

Detroit’s second line could perhaps feature Weiss in the middle between wingers Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson, who agreed to a one-year contract to leave Ottawa earlier in the day.

Weiss, the Panthers’ all-time franchise leader in games played (654) and assists (249) is coming back from wrist surgery last March. The injury undoubtedly contributed to his light numbers last season with only one goal on 19 shots in 17 games.

Weiss, 30, played three OHL seasons with the Plymouth Whalers in suburban Detroit. He led the Whalers in scoring in back-to-back seasons producing 87- and 70-point seasons in 2000-01 and 2001-02. The 5-foot-11 Toronto native was the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NHL draft.

Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves has played against Weiss, but suspects that the newcomer will need some time to get acclimated to his new surroundings.

“I know from my own experiences of going to a different team you’re not extremely comfortable right away,” Eaves said. “The guys here are great, even when I first walked in they were unbelievable. But it will be a new place for him, it’s life, and will take a little time. I just know that he’s a really good player.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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