Feb 5, 2013; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Jim Slater (19) and Florida Panthers forward Stephen Weiss (9) await face off during the third period at the MTS Centre. Winnipeg wins 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Weiss A Detroit Red Wing

The free agency signings are coming along quite quickly! Stephen Weiss was the Red Wings main free agent target this year, and they wrapped him up in a neat little package.

The Deal

The second-line center just locked-up a deal with the Red Wings worth $24.5 million over five years. That’s a cap hit of $4.9 million.

Why This Is A Good Signing

Weiss is a solid two-way player, which is exactly what the Red Wings were looking for. Smart offensively and smart defensively. Having a solid player centering a line with Johan Franzen on it may help the Mule become a more consistent player.

This pretty much guarantees that Valtteri Filppula has lost his roster spot with the Red Wings. Not that this should surprise anyone who’s been paying attention; Filppula has felt held back for quite some time and is testing free agency. Weiss will be an excellent replacement for the Finn. Red Wings fans should not be disappointed. And Weiss is coming in just slightly cheaper than what Filppula was hoping he would be offered by the team.

Editor’s Note: Filppula just signed a five year/$25 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He will do well there, and if you’re a fan of Filppula (like me!), you’ll be happy to see him added to Steve Yzerman‘s regime.

Why This Is A Bad Signing

His size may be a factor into it, since he’s only 5’9″ and 190 pounds. Last year, he went down with a wrist injury for half of the season, so he only managed four points in seventeen games. He also won’t be able to wear number 9 here.

Weiss seems to fit the mold of a Detroit player extremely well.

For once, Ken Holland is making a decent-sized splash on the first day of free agency. At 30 years old, Weiss will work well here. And Holland seems to believe that will be true with the length of this contract.

Added Free Agency Notes: Per Helene St. James’s tweet, it sounds as though Damien Brunner will not be returning to the Red Wings, although only time will tell. Keep your eyes and ears peeled, ladies and gentlemen. Things are just getting started!

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