Please read the post before commenting as there's a couple parts to it
As the NHL lockout is now in its third month, there is growing concern the entire 2012-13 season could be lost.
If that's the case, there's a possibility Stephen Weiss may have played in his final game with the Florida Panthers.
Weiss, who has played in more games than anyone in franchise history, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.
Weiss said that even if the season were to begin, he doesn't plan on negotiating a new contract with the team until the following offseason. Teams cannot offer contracts to players during the lockout.
"Things got stalled during the summer,'' Weiss said after yet another informal workout at the Glacier Ice Arena in Lighthouse Point.
Weiss said on Monday that he and the Panthers had brief conversations before the lockout began about his future plans. Weiss has stated, and reiterated this on Monday, that he wants to remain with the Panthers. General manager Dale Tallon said over the summer that the Panthers aren't all that concerned Weiss will leave.
"I want to end my career with the Panthers,'' Weiss said. "This organization has been very good to me...But at the end of the day, this is a business. And if it comes time to move on, maybe that's the case too.''
I could see a lot of teams being interested in Weiss were the Panthers to fall out of the playoff race, or else on the open market. Ultimately, I think he'll end up back in Florida, but, then again, I thought the same thing about Parise. We've seen before how these types of things can fall apart.
There are plenty of teams that could use him though. Chicago or Toronto would offer a hefty paycheck.
it would be mildly appealing but i would be nervous to sign him to grabs type money even though i put them in a similar level in terms of abilities. we already have one 2nd line center who has no chemistry with kessel. it would be really ****** to sign another 2nd line center to $5+ million and have to play him on the 3rd line because for whatever reason our 3rd line center is the only one who can play with kessel.
if they did have chemistry having to decent second line centers on the leafs would probably be passable if our wingers put up good numbers.
Well, Vancouver is where old Panthers come to die, welcome to the 3rd line Stephen, we'd like you to meet your new, old linemates David Booth and Chris Higgins...as our 3rd line, we'll pair you with our bottom pair which will be Ballard and Garrison. Of course we'll keep Luongo in net (for at least 30 games)...you got it.
I think it's so imperative to Florida that he stays that they'll throw buckets of cash at him. Panther fans have mentioned that Huberdeau will probably play wing, at least initially, and their only really good centre prospect is Bjugstad.
Weiss have said several times that he would retire a Panther and is loyal to the franchise. Why would he leave when the franchise finally is up and coming?
To be honest, I dont see him signing anywhere else. Maybe 1% chance of him leaving.
I have mixed feelings about how "up and coming" the Panthers really are.
Their positioning this year was due more to the generally terrible play by their division (all five teams finished with a neg goal diff), and the unsustainable amount of "bonus points" they got for OTLs last year. Statistically speaking, they had no business being in the playoffs last year, let alone being a third seed conference winner with a -24 goal differential.
They do have some very nice prospects, but I have them pegged as easily my biggest slide team in whatever NHL season happens next