The addition of Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson could move Detroit’s offense back toward the NHL’s elite.
The pieces should fit together nicely. Weiss is a natural center who slides in behind No. 1 pivotman Pavel Datsyuk. The Red Wings used the since-departed Valtteri Filppula at center so that Zetterberg could play on Datsyuk’s wing.
Unfortunately, Filppula struggled in that role. He scored just 17 points with a minus-4 rating in 41 games last season. Weiss figures to regain his 60-point form in that role for the Red Wings.
“We liked Fil better as a wing,” Babcock told the Detroit Free-Press. “Now we’ve got Weiss, we think he’s a great fit. We think with our group, and the leadership we have, that he can be a real good player for us.”
(By the way, it will be interesting to see how Valtteri does in Tampa Bay on his new $5 million-per-year contract there.)
Alfredsson’s biggest impact could come on the power play, where he could man the point opposite Niklas Kronwall on the first unit. The Red Wings dearly missed the retired Nicklas Lidstrom on that role last season.
“What’s happened is, we have much more depth now,” Babcock told the Free-Press. “Alfie is a guy who is ultra-competitive. He plays his best when it matters. He gives us a right-handed shot. He’ll help our power play immensely.”