The Red Wings have signed center Stephen Weiss to a five-year contract, the team announced Friday. The deal will pay Weiss $24.9 million, a cap hit of $4.9 million per season.

The Red Wings wanted a center and Weiss, a former Plymouth Whalers junior star who played for the Florida Panthers last season, was a target from early on.

Toronto and St. Louis Blues were also in the mix for Weiss, 30, who only made the playoffs once in 10 years in Florida and wanted a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup.

"It was a pretty easy decision to come and play for Mr. (Ken) Holland and Mr. (Mike) Babcock and the Red Wings organization," said Weiss. "It's been a culture of winning over the years. Their goal every year is to win a Stanley Cup."

Weiss replaces Valtteri Filppula, who left for Tampa Bay (and former Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman, now the Lightning GM), signing a 5-year deal Friday worth $25 million with the Lightning.