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

  • SLAPSHOT1106

    Probably a bit harsh Frank, but I have many of the same feelings about Weiss. As far as his drafting position, I looked back and can’t really fault the team there. Sure you could argue for Hamhuis, Hemsky, and a few others, but like many drafts there are a lot of misses in there as well. Tampa missed on a Russian picking right ahead of us.

    So as bad as the team’s drafting has been for at least the last 10-15 years, I’d say they did fine here. Problem being is that they missed on so many other picks, coupled with many years of mismanagement, so we’ve never really gotten to see if it would’ve helped him being the #2 center he fits into on many teams… Again not his fault, but it’s too bad we never had the LEADERSHIP necessary here to bring in Weiss and Horton as well…

    Instead, they become comfortable in this country club atmosphere, put up some decent points due to the fact they’re give top-line PP and minutes, and collect paychecks living a pretty cushy lifestyle here in South FL. So while I do give Weiss some respect for trying to stay through the rebuild, I also feel he’s wise enough to realize going elsewhere will probably severely damage his offensive output. His 60 pts here would probably end up being 30-40 pts on many other teams. Even though he would play with better talent, his PP and ice time would be diminished. And on deeper teams like the Flyers, Bruins, Canucks, Sharks, etc, he’d be a 3rd line Ctr.

    So just as I encouraged the trading of Horton, so do I of Weiss. Now the RETURN has to be justified in order for it to be worthy. With Horton, it got to the point where his game was never going to change if he stayed here.. Too bad for us because now that he’s putting up decent playoff #s, we certainly would’ve gotten much better offers than the 1st rounder(bjugstad) and an overpaid Wideman.. That was more of Boston having extra draft picks and wanting to get rid of some salary. I don’t blame Tallon at all. It had to be done, just too bad there weren’t better offers on the table for what was considered one of our top 3 players over the last decade…

    With Weiss, he’s not as much of a cancer as Horton was. He gives quality effort the majority of the time. He may not be the player we WANT him to be, but he’s an asset and if the quality offer came through, I’d hope Tallon pulls it off again. The positives with Weiss is that he’s very reasonably priced. I think he actually took less money to stay here because he’s in a COMFORT ZONE.. So it won’t hurt us to keep him around, I wouldn’t mind Tallon packaging him off if a NICE return came back our way…

    With Weiss, we know what we’re going to get. His numbers won’t increase much more, if anything probably decrease.. He’s a quality asset, just not as good as many make him out to be.. And now I believe he has some form of a no-trade, but I believe he’d waive it if he felt we’re going in a new direction. Considering that this rebuild keeps looking like we’re going to have to get really lucky or else it’ll take longer than most of us would like, I’d take a character guy and draft picks in return for Stevie… I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’d be all for it…

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