Dale Tallon announced today that Stephen Weiss would miss the remainder of the season to undergo a wrist surgery. Weiss who is the Florida Panthers all time leader for games played may have played in his last game as a Panther, as he’s set to become a free agent in the off-season. Weiss had been struggling this season, despite Kevin Dineen attempting everything to help him out. Weiss has seen time on each of Florida’s four lines in an attempt to find new chemistry and kick-start his play, however it just hasn’t happened.
With his sub-par performance this season and now an injury added to it, it could be hard for the Panthers to deal Weiss like some had expected. The Panthers now risk losing Weiss to free agency come July if he decides not to re-sign with the Panthers, getting nothing in return for a player fans have grown to love over the years. This now also puts pressure on Weiss, stating several times that he’d like to finish his career with Florida to re-sign here, potentially for less. He can also take the “bad guy” route and run for the cash that may be thrown at him as teams may look past this seasons performance making a push to get him, the second most prized Center this off-season behind Ryan Getzlaf.
Florida has been hurting with injuries this season already, with losing Sean Bergenheim for the season, as well as Kris Versteeg, Mike Weaver, Dmitry Kulikov, Ed Jovanovski, Jose Theodore and Scottie Upshall who have all missed or will miss considerable time this season. Florida finds itself looking to its future for the upcoming games, with Jacob Markstrom now expected to take what many believe is his rightful place as the starting goaltender. Drew Shore and Jonathan Huberdeau have shown they belong on the team, both in the top 10 in rookie scoring while Huberdeau is first in rookie goals scored.
The Panthers take on the Winnipeg Jets this evening and with another loss and a Columbus Blue Jackets win against Edmonton in a battle of the Western Conferences two worst teams, the Panthers could find themselves in last place in the entire league.