The Detroit Red Wings might already have their sights set on a possible replacement for Valtteri Filppula should the veteran forward sign with another club next season.

Elliotte Friedman of CBC reported that the Red Wings are among the teams that have expressed an interest in negotiating with Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss, who is an unrestricted free agent.

Friedman said the Panthers are talking with Weiss about a possible contract extension but that several teams are interested in acquiring the 10-year veteran before he hits the open market July 5.

"They have several teams that have contracted them and said, 'if you do decide to trade him, we are interested,' " Friedman reported Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada's Hot Stove segment. "The three I could confirm were Dallas, Detroit and Toronto."

To negotiate with Weiss before he hits the free-agent market, the Red Wings would have to part with a draft pick. They've shown interest in Weiss in the past.

Weiss is small at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds but he's a skilled center who is a good skater and two-way player.

If the Red Wings lose Filppula, who is also an unrestricted free agent, Weiss could potentially center their second line and allow Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk to play together on the top line.