TRAVERSE CITY — New Detroit Red Wings forward Stephen Weiss says the franchise’s perpetual contender status was a big reason he decided to come to Detroit.
Detroit signed Daniel Alfredsson and Weiss and extended Pavel Datsyuk’s deal, giving the franchise a better chance to have success as it shifts to the Eastern Conference. The Wings also re-signed veteran forward Danny Cleary on Thursday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal for $1.75 million.
“It’s really refreshing,” Weiss said as the Red Wings began training camp Thursday in Traverse City. “Those were some of the things that the coach and Mr. Holland stressed in the summer. They try to win the Stanley Cup every year and they’re going to try and do what they have to do to make that happen. That’s awesome for me, coming here and try to do whatever I can to help out.”
With established veteran stars like Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg already in the fold and adding two proven vets in Alfredsson and Weiss, the Red Wings aim to improve their offense from a year ago, when they struggled to manufacture goals. At 2.54 goals per game, Detroit was 20th out 30 NHL squads.
“One of the things we wanted to accomplish in the off-season was secondary scoring,” general manager Ken Holland said. “Last year, we were fifth in the league in goals against. We needed to be a little better in the goal-scoring department. Injuries were a factor, but we also changed the personnel. We added Alfredsson and Weiss. Weiss has 48 points in five of his last seven seasons. Alfredsson is a guy that’s a shooter and gives us another dimension on the power play. We’re excited about the additions. Obviously, it’ll take some time for the chemistry and for Mike Babcock to decide on the line combinations.”