| Stephen Weiss skated with some of his new teammates for the first
time last week since signing a five-year contract with the Red Wings
in July. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)
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:
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
Danny DeKeyser - Jakub Kindl
Brian Lashoff - Nathan Paetsch (PTO)
Marc McNulty - Alexei Marchenko
Jonas Gustavsson, Tom McCollum
Tom Renney, Spiros Anastos
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
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Xavier Ouellet - Brennan Evans
Gleason Fournier - Max Nicastro
Jimmy Howard, Jared Coreau
Bill Peters, Jim Paek
Gustav Nyquist - Joakim Andersson - Todd Bertuzzi
Tomas Jurco - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar
Marek Tvrdon - Calle Jarnkrok - Landon Ferraro
Triston Grant - Zach Nastasiuk - Kevin Lynch
Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith
Adam Almqvist - Ryan Sproul
Michal Plutnar - Richard Nedomlel
Petr Mrazek, Jake Paterson, Cam Lanigan (PTO)
CoachesVIEW ENTIRE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULEFollow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose
Jeff Blashill, Keith McKittrick