The Florida Panthers may be parting ways with one of their mainstays at some point this summer, as veteran forward Stephen Weiss is set to become an unrestricted free agent. While the Panthers would reportedly like to have him back, that may not end up working out.
At this point, it appears that the Panthers are working on a new deal for Weiss. Whether or not that happens, however, remains to be seen. In the event that they are unable to get him locked up, there are more than a couple of teams out there that would be interested in trading for him.
Despite an extremely disappointing, both in relation to his health and his performance in 2013, it isn’t hard to figure out why teams would have interest in Weiss. He’s a four-time 20-goal scorer, an excellent playmaker, and a good presence to have around in the locker room.
Weiss is coming off of a contract in which he carried a $3.1 million cap hit. Not a terrible price for a center of his caliber. He just recently turned 30, so he’s no exactly a guy on the downslope of his career quite yet. Which, for the Panthers, means that he may not be interested in taking much of a paycut.
If he’s seeking a significant raise, then the Panthers may choose to part ways with him. While they’re not exactly loaded down the middle, they have enough young talent to eventually replace Weiss, as well as the fact that they’ll be selected no. 2 overall in the draft, where a center with elite upside might fall right into their lap.
There have been at least three teams contact the Panthers about Weiss, and if he should hit the market there will be a whole lot more. Which means that if the Panthers realize that they won’t be able to sign Weiss, then trading him will be the right move to make. They have a couple of weeks to decide that, but if they do try and move him, they won’t have any trouble in doing so.