GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Stephen Weiss was sent to the Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, on Wednesday on a conditioning stint. Before Wednesday’s game, Weiss had played in just one regular season game for the Red Wings since last December after dealing with a sports hernia last season.
His first game in the AHL since the 2004-05 season didn’t go as planned.
Weiss played in just two periods in a 2-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs at Van Andel Arena, notching one shot on goal and being a plus-one. According to coach Jeff Blashill, he felt some soreness in the second period, and the trainer decided to keep him out of the third period for precautionary reasons.
“He hadn’t played in a while — he had a little bit of soreness,” Blashill said. “So, we just we just thought the precautionary measure for a guy that hasn’t played in a long time, we would just pull him for the third period.”
Weiss was not made available to the media, as he was “receiving treatment.”
He did have the one scoring opportunity, but Weiss didn’t look all that impressive. Obviously, he hasn’t played very much since last December and he will need some time to get back up to game speed, but it’s apparent the conditioning stint was definitely a necessity.
Weiss saw a lot of power play time with Mitch Callahan and Teemu Pulkkinen, but the Griffins as a whole looked out of sync, as they went 0 for 8 with the man advantage.
Blashill liked what he saw from Weiss in the periods he did play.
“I thought Stephen did a good job,” Blashill said. “I thought he was in a lot of offensive roles. I thought he did good job. We didn’t quite execute out there. I thought we had opportunities to execute that weren’t quite there, but I thought he did lots of good.”
Generally, players are put on rehab stints following an injury. Weiss hasn’t suffered an injury yet this season, but Blashill said it was a good opportunity to give Weiss some playing time that he wouldn’t get had he stayed with the Red Wings.
“I think, as much as anything, getting some game speed before you get thrown into potential game speed in the NHL,” he said. “I think he just wanted to play, and the Red Wings want to get play out of him a little bit.”
We’ll see if this soreness is Weiss not playing for a long time or possibly a bigger injury. He was scheduled to play Friday against the Chicago Wolves, but Weiss will end his conditioning stint prematurely and return to Detroit, according to MLive.com’s Ansar Khan.
Stephen Weiss’ brief conditioning stint in Grand Rapids is over. His sore groin will prevent him from playing for Griffins tomorrow.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 30, 2014
Weiss showed a lot of promise coming into training camp, saying he was experiencing no pain, but it looks like he’ll have yet another setback to get over before getting back to being a regular in the lineup.
Tom Mitsos is a writer from Michigan who covers the Red Wings and the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, for The Hockey Writers.