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Panthers’ Weiss is in the doghouse

Feb 24, 2013, 6:58 PM EDT

stephenweissdowngetty Getty Images

While plenty of core pieces* fled for greener pastures, Florida Panthers fixture Stephen Weiss has been there through thick and (mostly) thin. He’s seen a lot of dark times for the team since becoming a regular, but Sunday presented a rare dilemma: he was a big part of the problem.

Head coach Kevin Dineen benched him for all but two short shifts in the third period of the Boston Bruins’ 4-1 win today. After the game, Dineen told the Miami Herald that Weiss’ recent play made it an easy decision.

“For the last year-and-a-half I’ve looked down — if we are a man short or on the power play — for that number,” Dineen said. “That made it much easier to have him sitting there not part of the equation with the quality of hockey he’s playing right now.”

That’s tough talk about the Panthers’ franchise leader in games played (650).

Weiss has long been labeled a diamond in the rough, largely because of his two-way play. Still, it’s tough to ignore his mediocre 2013 numbers: just four points and 19 shots on goal with a -11 rating in 14 games.

Meanwhile, Florida’s floundering continues; the Panthers have lost five straight at home and seven of eight games overall.

As the franchise brims full of promising prospects and Weiss’ production dwindles, trade rumors continue to swirl. If this keeps up, it might just be best for both sides.

* – Including Sunday opponent Nathan Horton, who won a Stanley Cup with Boston in his first post-Panthers season.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 24, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    With so much talk about Weiss being traded, one has to wonder how much it would really cost to acquire him? He’s playing terribly right now and is in the last year of his deal, so what would teams be willing to give? I’d imagine GMs aren’t lining up to give up a building block piece for Stephen Weiss.

    • nunan - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      Some talk in Boston, as they look to improve. Everyone seems to think the third line will be addressed and Weiss would fit into that role in Boston. Plus he is a good, two way center who has never won anything. Coming to Boston could be a good for him and the Bs. Oh, and he is, or was, a strong PP guy, which the Bs obviously need.

  2. trbowman - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Would be dumb on the Panthers part to trade Weiss now. His value’s at an all time low. They’d be getting chump change.

    He’s a good player going through a rough stretch, he’ll find his game soon enough.

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