One of the biggest names that was speculated to be moved at this year’s NHL trade deadline is now officially off the trading block. Stephen Weiss of the Florida Panthers will miss the remainder of the regular season after learning that he will require surgery to repair a nagging wrist injury according to TSN.ca.
The star center has struggled this season, scoring just 1 goal and adding 3 assists in 17 games for the Panthers. It’s not clear as to what degree the wrist injury has impacted his production, but clearly the injury is worse than anyone knew which could explain the lack of points.
Weiss, who is in the last year of his contract with the Panthers, was set to become a hot commodity at the trade deadline. The reliable 29-year old has averaged 76 games per season over the last six seasons and would regularly contribute between 50-60 points a year. He is the type of forward that many clubs would have been interested in acquiring for the playoff race.
Panthers GM, Dale Tallon was expected to deal Weiss on or before April 3rd due to the organization not being able to afford the lofty salary increase that Weiss will be seeking and likely receive on the open market. The Panthers now have the unenviable decision of either trading him before the free-agency begins this summer, resigning him or letting him walk for nothing. A deal before July 5th is the most probable scenario.
For the Panthers it’s unfortunate given a playoff bound team may have overpaid for Weiss at the trade deadline to secure his services. With a July deal now most likely, the star forward’s stock may have dropped a little meaning Tallon may not receive what he could have had a deal taken place in the next four weeks.