Originally posted on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 7/5/13

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Philadelphia Flyers during preseason action at the Wachovia Center on September 22, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Stephen Weiss looks like he’ll be the Detroit Red Wings’ new second-line center, with Valtteri Filppula headed out the door. Weiss and the Wings agreed to a five-year, $24.5-million deal on Friday, TSN reported. That’s an average of $4.9 million per season — or, slightly less than the $5 million per Filppula initially was believed to be seeking. Filppula’s number still may come in at or around that number, though the market has been somewhat quiet surrounding the former Wings’ forward. However, Weiss is coming off an injury-marred season in which he tallied just four points (1 G, 3 A) in 17 games. Weiss did post 57 points during the 2011-12 year and he had back-to-back 60-point campaigns in 2008-09 and ’09-10. The latter showing included a 28-goal effort from the 30-year-old center. With Filppula out of the mix, Weiss will jump right onto the Wings’ second line. Even if Filppula, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner all are subtracted from the roster, the additions of Weiss and Alfredsson plus a gaggle of young prospects could make Detroit dangerous in the Eastern Conference. “They’re going to be right at the top of the food chain,” Pierre McGuire said during TSN’s free agency show. “You look at their depth at center ice, they didn’t really lose any of their young guys, Jimmy Howard’s only going to get better …” “They didn’t mortgage their future at the trade deadline,” former Wing and current TSN analyst Aaron Ward added. “There was no knee-jerk reaction to do something stupid, they maintained their position and now they go into free agency looking pretty good.” The Wings’ offseason work figures to be far from done. Weiss and Alfredsson put them at 14 forwards, without counting Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Brunner or anyone other than Tomas Tatar from Grand Rapids.
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