It was a deal that on paper, at the time, looked like one of the biggest deals of free agency. Ken Holland managed to bring in one of Florida’s top-scorers in Stephen Weiss, who at the time was coming off an injury-shortened season. Before that though, he put up 20 goals and 57 points in 80 games played. It looked like Holland had worked his magic again to get the Detroit Red Wings a much-needed perennial 20-goal scorer.
Then the troubles began.
Weiss put up a goal in the early portion of the season, and it looked like he was well on his way already. But then he stopped producing. He became little more than a floater on the ice eating up minutes. He played in 26 games and managed only 2 goals and 4 points before it was revealed that he had a sports hernia that would require surgery to fix. It was a much more welcome explanation to his play rather than him just all of a sudden not producing. He’d have a second surgery in April to remove some scar tissue, which would effectively end his season.
This season was much more productive for Weiss, but still not to the degree that he would have liked. He was scratched for large portions of the season, playing in only 52 games, and putting up 9 goals and 25 points; far and away from the 50+ point producer he was with the Panthers. He also only participated in 2 post-season games for the Red Wings before being scratched again, finishing a minus-1 for the playoffs, and only managing a single shot on goal.
It’s frustrating for Weiss because he knows he can play better, but hasn’t managed to live up to his potential for Detroit. Via the Free Press:
“It was frustrating, yeah,” Weiss said of the season. “You always want to do more. I feel like you can do more. I felt that way. It is frustrating. I wanted to be in there, especially in the playoffs, playing and have a bigger role, but it wasn’t to be.”
Weiss turned 32 on April 3.
“Just trying to get stronger and stay healthy in the summer and hopefully find a way to get a bigger role,” Weiss said. “That’d be nice. I feel I can do a lot more.”
He knows he’s going to have to compete for spot again next year just like he did this year.
Asked whether he thought he had a role on the team next season, Weiss said: “After the way things ended this year? No, not really.”
But now being 100% healthy again, he’s not likely to be cut any slack or given the benefit of the doubt. He’ll have to impress a lot of people heading into preseason if he wants regular ice time again.
(Featured image via Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)