The Florida Panthers are last in the Eastern Conference, and have a collection of veteran players on their roster that might look attractive to other teams as Aprilís trade deadline looms.
Chief among them: Center Stephen Weiss, in the last year of his contract before unrestricted free agency. Heís a 20-goal center that plays well on both ends of the ice, and would have been a perfect addition for any team looking to bolster the middle of its lineup Ė provided heíd waive his no-movement clause for said team.
Well, scratch that idea. And scratch Weiss for the rest of the season, according to Panthers GM Dale Tallon, who revealed on Tuesday that Weiss will undergo surgery on his wrist and that his season is over.
Weiss had just one goal in 17 games this season, skating to a minus-13. So yeah, maybe that wrist was bothering him a little.
TSNís Bob McKenzie makes it sound as is Weiss is the one who shut it down this season, in preparation for his free agency next summer.
Obviously, this is a huge blow to the Panthers. Not only is their top veteran center done, but thereís no flipping him for a trade deadline bounty. Weiss will leave the Panthers, who will get nothing in return. Ouch.
Say this about Weiss, if this is indeed the end of his tenure in Florida: Heís been a good soldier. While other players like Nathan Horton forced the issue and asked out, Weiss played his entire career with the Panthers and finally made the playoffs with them last season.
"It's been a long 10 years,Ē Weiss said at the time. ďAt the end of the day, it was worth staying. It was worth trusting Dale."