Stephen Weiss will help Detroit, but expect his fantasy value to take a hit
I am going to be taking a look at Russ Miller’s Eastern Edge column written earlier this week about Stephen Weiss, Justin Abdelkader and Cody Hodgson.
Detroit have not been a favorite team of mine for a while. Truth be told, I have been expecting them to crash, but they have proven me wrong and it's because of their strong commitment to team play. While they have made the playoffs and their top line produces, they slowly erode away for fantasy purposes.
They remind me too much of what New Jersey was like. They too were losing a player here and a player there but always stayed strong enough to make the playoffs. One day though Detroit will remind people of what New Jersey is like right now.
There is so much talk about how the Wings draft well and keep on going, but when it takes guys like Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist so long to contribute substantially and they don’t keep the likes of Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula it has weakened them. They need to replenish their talented youth.
Going out and getting Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson this summer might help the team get into the playoffs but it is not a long term investment. In Weiss’ case, I do not think it will pay off for fantasy owners.
Weiss was a main figure on a poor team. Now he is a second liner on a good team and he is more focused on making the playoffs than about his individual statistics. As long as the team wins then he won’t feel too much pressure to perform. The playoffs are why he chose to sign with the Wings.
There was a video done either before the season started or on opening day where the interviewer talked to Weiss about signing with the Red Wings, but I cannot seem to find it now. I can see him being a good pickup for the playoffs after a so-so regular season and that probably will be true for some of the years he is playing for them.
I agree with Russ’ comments about Abdelkader being a top third liner who plays second line minutes. He will continue to have good looks on the second line because injuries will impact Todd Bertuzzi, Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen.
He won’t seriously be missing out on top six minutes until Tatar, Nyquist and other prospects start to make their mark.
Nobody likes being on a sinking ship and that is what Buffalo is this year. The Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek talk is going to keep the team muddled in negativity. Producing in that environment will be difficult. The good thing is that it isn’t permanent.
I anticipate that the numbers for Cody Hodgson will be under his expectations for the first half and that once the other guys are dealt things will stabilize. He will get a boost in garbage time at the end of the season but I do not see it being enough for him to reach 60 points this season.
That does not mean that he won’t reach those expectations for next year though. In fact, I can see him grow to 70 points.
He is a long term play and his age allows those who have him to be patient. Those who want him should try to grab him December/January. I fear that if you wait until the trade deadline or for the summer other fantasy owners who are out of the running will be after Hodgson so you would want to swing a deal before the market heats up on him.
Not related to Russ’ article but because I’m speaking of sinking ships and negativity, I can’t help feeling that the troubles with Buffalo, New Jersey and Philadelphia stem from the absurd contract offers they made in years past.
At the time, the new owner of Buffalo wanted to make a splash and thought signing Ville Leino would be great. Yup, they made a splash but it was because it was a big belly flop. The Sabres lost their heart because they threw money at a guy who had one decent season with another team. He is currently listed as their second highest paid forward on CapGeek. His teammates must feel real good.
A similar story played out in New Jersey but this time it was because the owner was trying to sell the team and hoped that a sparkling gem like Kovalchuk would help him achieve a good price. It wasn’t a real hockey move. Too bad because they pushed out Zach Parise in the process and the former owner didn’t get what he had hoped to sell for either. In addition, they were penalized for trying to circumvent the salary cap rules.
Finally, it was a joke to watch the press conference that the Flyers held when they introduced Craig Berube as their coach. Instead of admitting that they goofed up, they defended their actions. If there is a silver lining for them it is that out of these three teams they have more young talented players that they can immediately build around.
Back to the Wings and Cody. Russ is much more optimistic than I am on these players for this season at least. Where we differ most is on Stephen Weiss.
“Life’s Tragedy is that we get old too soon and [Weiss] too late.” – Benjamin Franklin