Stephen Weiss was supposed to come to the Detroit Red Wings and make them forget all about Valtteri Filppula. That’s been far from the case so far this season though, as one has badly struggled with his new team while the other has clicked wonderfully.
When the Wings acquired Weiss as a free agent, the long-term deal they offered to him raised the eyebrows of pundits and NHL brass alike. Five years for a guy with outstanding injury history seemed steep, especially with a cap hit of nearly $5 million and an added no-movement clause.
Detroit had faith that Weiss could be the secondary-scoring threat that the team has badly lacked over the last few seasons. So far, the former Florida Panther has yet to reward the team for that faith. He has two goals in eight games and is on pace for 15 total across an 82-game season. Weiss has yet to pitch in with an assist, and is a minus-four on the year.
Meanwhile, Filppula—who Detroit refused to give $5 million a year to over the summer—has scored four goals and added four assists for the Tampa Bay Lightning. While it might seem unfair to compare the two forwards, the fact is the Wings seem to have bet on the wrong guy in this instance.
Detroit needs secondary scoring in a bad way as the offense has dried up over the last three contests. They’ve scored three goals in that span, and need more from Weiss in all three zones if they’re hoping to stay afloat in an Eastern Conference that has several high-end teams clicking at the moment.