Detroit pro teams making right moves?
Summer can be a slow time for some pro teams, but not for Detroit’s premier squads.
Wings add vets
The Detroit Red Wings have signed two veteran free agents in Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss.
Alfredsson is 40 and may not have much left in the tank. But he has 426 career goals and served as captain of the Ottawa Senators, so he obviously has leadership qualities.
Weiss was limited to just 17 games last season due to a wrist injury, but is considered a superb playmaker who has a career .602 points per game scoring average.
He’ll no doubt adequately replace the underachieving Valtteri Filppula, who left for Tampa Bay.
Lions extend Stafford
The Detroit Lions extended quarterback Matthew Stafford’s contract for three more seasons for $53 million – $41.5 million guaranteed – that will keep him with the team until 2017.
Despite a sub-par season last year, Stafford has some talent. He helped the Lions reach the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade in 2011.
But he has also been injury-prone and some say his passing mechanics aren’t all that good.
Still, the Lions had to pay Stafford to stay. To start from scratch with a new QB, either through a costly trade or through the draft, would have set the Lions back years.
Pistons bolster roster
You can tell Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars is feeling the pressure to return the team to playoff contention.
He has signed free agent forward Josh Smith to a four-year, $54 million contract; is bringing back former Pistons guard Chauncey Billups with a two-year pact; and will reportedly add Italian forward Luigi Datome and re-sign backup guard Will Bynum within the next few days.
The Pistons have nowhere to go but up and the additions should add some talent and depth. Smith is a good two-way player and Bynum is a quality reserve.
Billups is a gamble, however, as he’ll turn 37 in September. He also tore his left Achilles tendon during the 2011-12 campaign.
Dumars also took Georgia forward Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with the No. 8 overall pick in the NBA draft. Caldwell-Pope is considered a good shooter, but will now vie with Smith – and-or Datome – for playing time.
Dumars also hired former Piston Rasheed Wallace as an assistant coach. Anyone want to bet how many games (minutes?) it will be before ‘Sheed is slapped with a technical?
With an expanding roster, Dumars probably isn’t done tinkering with the team’s lineup, either.
Don’t be surprised if he makes another roster move before the season starts, maybe involving Rodney Stuckey and-or Charlie Villanueva,
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is email@example.com.