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STEPHEN WEISS: Leaves Florida Panthers for Five Year Deal in Detroit

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

The Panthers watched teams with money to spend snap up some of the top free agents once the market opened at noontime Friday.

As expected, even one of their own moved on.

Stephen Weiss, the franchise leader in games played, signed a five-year deal worth close to $5 million per season with the Detroit Red Wings.

Weiss' signing will be secondary news in Detroit as the team also lifted Sens' captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said as late as Tuesday that the team was working to keep Weiss in South Florida.

It is unknown how far apart the two sides were, although since Weiss made $4.1 million in real money last year (well, he didn't because of the lockout), a 10 percent raise would have brought him to $4.5 million per season at least.

It's not known to me right now how much the Panthers offered -- and if they made a legitimate offer at all.

The Panthers did make a couple of minor moves, bringing in two players who have some NHL experience and both spent time in the AHL last year.

Defenseman Mike Mottau, 35, has played in 313 NHL games dating to 2000; he spent last season with San Antonio and the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

Winger Joey Crabb, 30, has played in 170 NHL games dating to 2008. He recorded NHL career bests in goals (11), assists (15) and points (26) in 67 games played with Toronto during the 2011-12 season. He spent last year with Washington and Hershey.

STEPHEN WEISS: Leaves Florida Panthers for Five Year Deal in Detroit