Should the Florida Panthers Move On From Stephen Weiss?

Florida Panthers forward Stephen Weiss skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins, March 9, 2012 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. (Source: Michael Miller, Wikimedia Commons)

Florida Panthers forward Stephen Weiss skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins, March 9, 2012 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. (Source: Michael Miller, Wikimedia Commons)

For the past few months there has been speculation involving long time Florida Panther and fan favorite, Stephen Weiss.  Just like any other “top” player in their contract year, trade rumors have begun whirling around the internet that Stephen Weiss will be dealt before the April 3rd deadline. But even prior to last season, Weiss’ name has been heavily involved in the rumor mill despite having a six-year contract worth $18.6 million, not to mention a full no-movement clause.

Coming off one of his most notable seasons with 57 points in 80 games, Weiss could be amongst the top sought after free agent centers along with Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Ribiero, and Derek Roy. This means the Panthers have one of two obvious choices. They can either resign Weiss and keep him as our number one center, or they can deal him off to another team and quite possibly get someone of importance back. Unfortunately this is a business and I believe that resigning Weiss to another lengthy contract would hang heavily on the future of our franchise.

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The Florida Panthers Trade Keaton Ellerby To Los Angeles

The Florida Panthers have traded former first round draft pick Keaton Ellerby to the Los Angeles Kings for a 5th round draft pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft.  Ellerby who was chosen 10th overall in 2007 has never lived up to his potential, and has never played a full season at the NHL level.  The most amount of games he played was 54 in the 2010-2011 season.  Big things were expected from him being such a high draft pick, however they were never delivered, at least on a consistent basis. One could say that Ellerby has been a disappointment, even though he’s been given multiple chances to earn a permanent spot, especially on previous Panther teams that were thin at the blue line.

This could be one of those trades where a change of scenery might be helpful, or a trade where his value to the organization has run it’s course.  Sometimes you just have to cut the cord and move on, especially with a fringe player which Ellerby has become.  Ellerby hasn’t been able to crack even the bottom pair of defencemen during his time with the Panthers, and that should tell you something.  There have been moments that he’s played well, and moments that he’s played poorly.  Most of the time however his play has been unnoticeable.  He has appeared in 125 NHL games, has 2 goals and 15 assists for 17 points, and is a career minus 21.  His claim to fame this season was a fight to defend teammate and fellow defencemen Ed Jovanovski when he was hit knee on knee by Tampa Bay Lightning tough guy BJ Crombeen.

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Panthers Dominate Shootout To Drop Flyers

Maybe going to the shootout this season won’t be such a bad thing for the Florida Panthers. In 2011-12, the Cats stumbled to a 6-17 in the skills competition thanks in large part to a group of forwards who weren’t exactly known for dynamic one-on-one play. With the infusion of new talent up front for this season, there was hope that last season’s Achilles heel would become a strength. And if Thursday’s 3-2 SO win over the Philadelphia Flyers is any indication, the shootout is no longer something to lament.
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