This wasn't easy for me to write. Source: Sun Sentinel

Final Grade: Stephen Weiss


Each day we are going to give you the Final Grade on the Florida Panthers roster. The members here known as The Rat Pack will rotate daily until we have completed our assessment of bodies talent. Today’s Final Grade Report is on Stephen Weiss.

How Acquired: Drafted fourth (yes fourth!) overall in 2001 by the Florida Panthers.

Position: Center.

2010-2011 Statistics:  21 goals, 28 assists 49 points, (+/-)  -9, 49 PIM. 52 Hits…. with a pillow.

2011-2012 Contract Status:  Signed for two more years at $3.1 Million per.

Review after the jump.  

Review:  I am sure to create some enemies here with this review.  The rotation of names that was handed out was not altered in any way.  When it came to Weiss and my name popped in there….well….what can I say.  Anyone who has followed this site since day one is full aware of my feeling about Stephen Weiss. A former first round draft pick (4th), in my opinion hasn’t lived up to his potential.  The initial comparison to Steve Yzerman was a complete mistake, and that label has ultimately haunted him.  When the Panthers first brought him up in 2001-2002, then coach Mike Keenan didn’t think Weiss was ready.  He wasn’t.  Back down he went.  Keenan was later fired, and Rick Dudley who took over called Weiss back up, and ultimately found the result to be the same, and returned him back to the minors.

Fast forward to the present, and what we have is a smallish, fragile, player who is being billed as a number one center on a team that hasn’t had anyone to compete for that job.  I guess Weiss gets it by default?  His best year point wise was 2008-2009 when he accumulated 61 points.  He’s not ever going to get much more than that unless he’s playing on a line with Alex Ovechkin or Steven Stamkos. And we all know that ain’t happening.  Weiss does have “some” skill.  His passing is pretty good, but for me, after that I’m wondering if we’re all watching the same player.  The praise he gets is a little beyond me.  I’d like for everyone to take a look at Weiss and see how he would fit in on any of the teams that were in the playoffs this season.  At best he’s a number two center.  At best.

I’ve been very critical of his play for a number of reasons. That he’s soft is the biggest problem that I have with him.  I like players that play with grit, snarl and attitude.  Play hard every 45 second shift.  Get their nose dirty, and are willing to put it all on the line. Jeremy Roenick, Gary Roberts, Jonathan Toews.…..those kind of guys.  Ability to be leaders, and back it up.  Watch Weiss.  I mean really pay attention to him.  Try it in person at the next game you’re at.  See if you still feel the same way about him.  Putting those three players’ names in the same article with Weiss….I just threw up in my mouth alittle.

I think the problem is that he was overrated as a draft choice, and placed in a position of high expectation that he hasn’t been able to meet.  If anyone is happy with such a high draft pick having 61 points as his best season, and after nine years hasn’t been able to top that, you’ve got problems.  If you blame injuries, I’ll shoot right back, it’s mostly conditioning.  How many times has his vagina groin been hurt?  He allegedly worked out some with Gary Roberts last summer much like Steven Stamkos has been.  Really?  I don’t see it.

Grade: B—- Barely. (I really had this as a borderline C+)  Wow is what you’re probably saying.  You’re also saying that I’m mean, nasty, or I just don’t like him.  Yes, you’re right.  I am all the above.  If the Panthers name him captain, you’ll not want to be associated with me.  I expect more from players.  As a team leader which he is supposed to be, I expect more.  He’s a decent guy.  Really…I have nothing personal against him at all.  But damn it, I want more from him and this team.  If you’re so sick of losing as you say you are, and that you’re always “sad” to see your friends leave at the trade deadline then step the hell up.  Or maybe you have already achieved your maximum level.

Thanks for reading.   We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Follow the Rat Pack onTwitter: me @TheRatTrick David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht @joshluecht, Adam Reid @AdamReid,  and Patrick McLaughlin @patrckmclaughlnAlso, please join our Facebook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and make some comments.

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Tags: Alex Ovechkin Final Grade Florida Panthers Gary Roberts Jeremy Roenick Jonathan Toews Mike Keenan Rick Dudley Stephen Weiss Steve Yzerman Steven Stamkos

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