34-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Stephen Weiss Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $24.5 million contract with the Red Wings in July 2013. Had contract bought out in June 2015 and became an unrestricted free agent.
The Red Wings bought out the remaining three years on Weiss's contract Tuesday, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Stephen Weiss.
Weiss' first season in Detroit could not have gone much worse, as a sports hernia limited him to 26 games. He also was ineffective when healthy, only scoring four points. He'll have something to prove in 2014-15, and the Red Wings are hoping he can return to the days when he'd score 50 to 60 points a year. They will give him another shot at one of the top center spots, but Weiss clearly needs to show more than he did last season. It’s probably wise to avoid drafting him in most leagues, and instead pick him off of waivers should he show the makings of a comeback year.
After spending 10 productive years in Florida, Weiss finally gets to play for a contender as he signed with the Red Wings in the offseason. His injured wrist limited him to only 17 games in 2012-13, but the cast is off and Weiss appears healthy and ready to contribute. He will center a solid second line in Detroit and hopes to get back to the days where he would put up 20 goals and 50-plus points a season. Weiss certainly has the opportunity with a lot of talent around him, and while he's not a top tier center, he could be a good steal later in drafts.
Weiss enters the final season of his current contract looking to build upon a productive 2011-2012 season that saw him light the lamp 20 times and chip in with 37 helpers. The veteran centerman reached the 20 goal plateau for the third-straight season and will once again be looked upon to lead the Panthers. His consistency leaves a bit to be desired, as 15 of his season's 57 points came in five separate three-point games. Weiss, who developed strong chemistry with Kris Versteeg, has hit the 50-point mark three seasons in a row and by all indications, a fourth is within reach. Although his points tend to come in bunches, Weiss is a safe option in the later rounds of deeper leagues, especially if he can challenge 20 goals again.
Weiss tallied 49 points (21 G, 28 A) last season and should see an increase in production with all the moves the Panthers made in the offseason. The Panthers completely revamped their offense, so we see Weiss having an uptick in production as a result. The lifelong Panther has shown the ability to remain relatively healthy over the past several seasons and remains a source of consistent offensive production. Expect about 60 points, with an upside of 70 or so if everything works out perfectly.
Weiss played 80 games and led Florida in goals (60) in the 2009-10 season. He was spot on with his shot too, as evidenced by a 15.6 shot percentage. It seems as though he's made a point to be more aggressive with the puck which should help him once again be the team's leading point getter.
It took a little while to get there, but Weiss finally ascended to the team’s scoring crown with 14-47—61. But it’s the intangible numbers that are a little more important. For starters, his rating was a noteworthy plus-19 — which is certainly nothing to sneeze at for a guy once dogged by Mike Keenan for his lackluster defensive play. And then there’s that career-high assist total, which is a byproduct of playing with some other young guns that are starting to piece it together — David Booth and Nathan Horton. DeBoer likes combination of the three on the first line, and the results speak for themselves. Expect at least another 60 points out of Weiss this season.
Weiss’ numbers actually went down last season — 42 points down six from the year before. But he’s now the undisputed No. 1 center on the team and has seemed to develop quite the rapport with Nathan Horton on the right side.
It seems like Weiss has been around forever, but he — like so many of the Panthers’ young guns — is just starting to round into form. Last season yielded career-highs in goals (20), assists (28) and points (48). More importantly, he started to find a groove as a lethal weapon on the power play (he led the team with 10 extra-man goals) and in 4-on-4 situations. With a new six-year pact in his back pocket, expectations are rising. But with those expectations come more opportunities. Weiss will be the No. 2 center going forward and should reap the benefits of having Nathan Horton on his right side.
Weiss emerged as a key component of the team last season before suffering a season-ending wrist injury around New Year's. He's in better shape this season and continues to get tougher, which has always been thought to be a key in his development. He's a guy to keep an eye on as the season pans out.
With the Panthers adding the likes of Jozef Stumpel and Joe Nieuwendyk up the middle, the message is clear to a player like Weiss -- shape up or hit the buses in the AHL again. An immense talent, Weiss has yet to show any toughness required to be a top-line center in the big show. He did little to impress during 2004-05 while in the AHL, so it's hard to say he'll shape up anytime soon.