When the Red Wings were recruiting center Stephen Weiss this past summer they were direct and up front with the free agent.

The expectations for Weiss were laid out by general manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock quite clearly.

"We explained the situation to him very clearly" said Babcock Tuesday after the Red Wings' conditioning skate. "We told him if he's not ultra competitive he couldn't come here. If he didn't bring it every day he couldn't come here because he's going to hate it if he didn't (compete) he's going to dislike the coach and dislike playing here.

"That was what we talked about. It's not like it's a surprise."

Weiss 30 had no problems with the expectations with the Red Wings. He was actually hoping for a chance to play for a Stanley Cup contender after continually missing the playoffs with the Florida Panthers.

Weiss signed a five-year contract worth $24.5 million the first day of unrestricted free agency; he is anxious for the season to get underway.

"Just walking in (to Joe Louis Arena) this morning and seeing the pictures and all the history here it's something you don't have in Florida" Weiss said. "Right away it hits you. Just going into the arena is pretty special. I've only played here a few times in my career and I've enjoyed it thoroughly the history here. It's so awesome."

Babcock envisions Weiss at center -- replacing the departed Valtteri Filppula -- with Johan Franzen at one wing. Who completes that line is to be determined.

"We're looking for a guy to generate more in the middle. So can we Weiss get 50 points in the middle of the second line?" Babcock said. "I'm going to watch and see. We think he's going to be a better player here. The demand is high."

The opportunity to play for a winning organization is big for Weiss.

"This is one of the teams everybody in the league would like to play for at some point in their career" Weiss said.