Injuries derailed Stephen Weiss’ debut season with Detroit, but the Red Wings seem (maybe curiously) optimistic that he’ll be good to go next season. In fact, he might even be healthy by training camp.
That’s the word that Red Wings GM Ken Holland passed along – albeit through a trainer – to MLive.com on Friday:
“(Trainer) Piet Van Zant texted him two days ago,” Holland said. “He said he’s feeling great, he’s training hard; he’s played some shinny (pick-up hockey). So far all reports are he’s healed and ready to roll in September.”
These bits from MLive.com do cast some doubt upon how authoritative that thumbs-up might be, though:
Holland told Weiss he only wants to hear from him if there is a setback. So no news is good news.
“If I don’t hear from him I’ll assume he’s getting better and better,” Holland said.
Such optimism didn’t sit well with everyone who follows the team:
No doubt about it, the Red Wings faced some serious injury issues in 2013-14 and still made the playoffs. Imagining a healthier Weiss, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg (among others) can evoke thoughts of a nice improvement, especially if Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Jurco continue to improve.
Still, it’s anyone’s guess if Weiss, 31, will really be much healthier in 2014-15. The Red Wings signed him to a five-year, $24.5 million deal in the summer of 2013 only to see his injury concerns carry over after a miserable final season with the Florida Panthers in 2012-13.
His latest setback involved a follow-up surgical procedure in April and he’s only been able to ramp up his training since June, with this indirect update being the only sign that progress is taking place.
Still, Holland expressed some big-picture optimism to MLive.com:
“The biggest thing is health,” Holland said. “If we can get to training camp (Sept. 19) and get Pav, Z, (Darren) Helm, Weiss on the ice we’re optimistic we got the potential to be a decent hockey club.”
When it comes to Weiss, that’s a pretty big “If.”