Red Wings bet big on Weiss

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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.