Red Wings Center Stephen Weiss Could Be Non-factor Again This Season


Before last season Stephen Weiss was the Detroit Red Wings big prize coming out of free agency. Signing him brought the Red Wings a bona-fide 30 goal scorer and added the goal scoring depth the team desperately needed.

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That was the hope but the reality turned out to be much different.

Stephen Weiss struggled early in the season with a pulled groin that eventually developed into a sports hernia.  An injury that would require surgery and cost Weiss and the Red Wings the majority of  2013-14 season. An injury that would eventually play a factor in how last season turned out.

Going into the 2014-15 season, optimism was high that Stephen Weiss would finally be able to contribute in a Red Wings uniform. But after failing to impress in camp, Stephen Weiss is not part of the regular line-up and will serve as a healthy scratch for the season opener against Boston.

For those of you keeping score at home that is $4.9 million in cap space just sitting on the bench and to make matters worse he has three more years on his contract.  That is a bad look for a team the needs scoring help and could really use the extra cap space to get it.

To be fair Stephen Weiss is also a victim of circumstance.  Last season the Wings were forced to depend on some of their younger players.  The younger players that Mike Babcock and Ken Holland were nursing were forced to grow up in a hurry and assume major roles on the team. The players that emerged hastened the youth movement making it a little more difficult for aging vets to break into the line-up.

That said for Stephen Weiss to sit the bench on opening night in favor of  rookie Andrej Nestrasil says a lot about Mike Babcock’s level of confidence in the 31-year-old center.

The Red Wings will eventually be forced to play Weiss is they hope to get any value out of his contract.  Whether that value comes from on-ice production or a trade, Ken Holland needs to get something out of Stephen Weiss or risk wasting valuable cap space.

But for now Weiss will watch from the press box as the Detroit Red Wings open the season against the Boston Bruins tonight at Joe Louis Arena.  The puck drops at 7:30 pm and you can catch the game on Fox Sports Detroit.