Red Wings sign Alfredsson & Weiss

With bright blue skies and temperatures in the 80s across much of Michigan, hockey may not be the first thing on the minds of sports fans.

But the NHL’s free agency period began this afternoon, and the Red Wings have wasted no time signing two prominent forwards.

Daniel Alfredsson is leaving the Ottawa Senators after 17 years to come to Detroit.

The Associated Press is reporting that the Wings have signed him to a one-year, $5.5 million contract.

The 40-year-old Alfredsson was the Senators’ captain and put up more than 1,100 points in an Ottawa uniform.

Media reports say his salary will likely prevent the Wings from re-signing free agents Damien Brunner and Dan Cleary.

Detroit has also signed Stephen Weiss away from the Florida Panthers.

The Associated Press says he’s signed a five-year deal worth $24.5 million.

Weiss will likely center Detroit’s second line, as the Wings have been unable to agree on a contract with Valtteri Filppula.

Until now, the Panthers were the only NHL team Weiss has ever played for.

In fact, he’s the franchise’s all-time leader in career games played.