This afternoon, The Detroit Red Wings have announced that center Stephen Weiss has been assigned to Grand Rapids for conditioning.. Official Press Release:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Stephen Weiss to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning.
Weiss was limited to 26 games for the Red Wings in 2013-14 and did not play after Dec. 10 following hernia surgery. The 31-year-old forward recorded four points (2-2-4) and 12 penalty minutes in his first season with Detroit. A veteran of 681 NHL games since 2001-02, the Toronto, Ontario, native has 398 career points (147-251-398) with Detroit and Florida. Originally drafted by the Panthers in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Weiss is Florida’s all-time leader in games played (654) and assists (249). He has skated in one game with the Red Wings this season.
The 13th-year pro last skated in the AHL in 2004-05, splitting the season between the San Antonio Rampage and Chicago Wolves. In 90 career AHL games, Weiss has recorded 63 points (28-35-63) and 64 penalty minutes. Prior to turning pro, he tallied 223 points (89-134-223) in 172 games with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers.
The Griffins will continue a four-game homestand this week when they host the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and the Chicago Wolves on Friday at 7 p.m.
This isn't a huge surprise to me. The guy gets paid just south of $5 million, and has been a healthy scratch for all but one game so far this season, which he looked awful in. We all know the story here, he signed with the team last season with an injury. He entered the 2013-2014 season with an injury, he ended his 2013 campaign with a sports-hernia surgery and spent the rest of the season recovering.
Despite looking terrible on the ice, this is a pretty apparent move to get him back into the Red Wings lineup ASAP. Andrej Nestrasil has done well thus far, but with Johan Franzen possibly returning soon, his fate is pretty much sealed. Despite his nifty setup on a Riley Sheahan goal against Philadelphia, and putting up some really nice possession numbers, he hasn't really been able to provide what the Red Wings need: Scoring.
Weiss is a veteran who has proven to be able to put up points, and the Wings absolutely need him up-to-par. They signed this guy to be the replacement for Valtteri Filppula, and so far it's been a big fat bust. Weisser will practice and play with the Griffins in hopes to rebuild muscle, and put him back into shape. If they want this guy to get back into form, they simply cannot have him in Cleary's Cabana. We've all said it, even though he's been bad, he HAS to be a better choice over Nesty.
My opinion? I really don't know at this point. I'm pretty sick and tired of waiting for him to catch up, but they need to do something to expedite his conditioning, and this is literally the smartest option as of now. I'm not cool with throwing him into the NHL and having a boat anchor skate around because he's out of shape. So let's hope this works. Just imagine what the 2013-2014 season would have looked like for Detroit if Stephen Weiss put up even 30 or 40 points. My guess is it would have turned out maybe just a little differently. I'll pull for the guy. Get in gear, Stephen. The team needs offense.