Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | December 11, 2011

Man of the Day 12/10: Stephen Weiss

Stephen Weiss

Born April 3, 1983 (age 28) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Center and alternate captain for the Florida Panthers

Here’s to another guy with an A on his chest! Weisser played for the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL, and his rookie  numbers were so impressive that Central Scouting ranked him one of the highest draftees in North America. The next season was even better (87 points as opposed to his rookie 66 points) and got him a top five slot among North American draftees. When the draft came round in 2001, the Florida Panthers took him fourth overall, and his last season with Plymouth saw him earn 70 points.

After finishing the 2001-02 season with the Whalers, he made his NHL debut with the Panthers in the waning weeks of the season – he got a goal and an assist in the seven games he played with them! In his first full NHL season in 2002, he had 30 points in 77 games, but he missed five games due to a broken toe. Alas, his sophomore season didn’t fare as well: he had problems with the coach and was sent to the San Antonio Rampage for ten games (he did go back to Sunrise and stayed there for the rest of the season). The 2003-04 season was worse, with him missing a lot of it due to a sprained knee and a broken leg.

This one's for Emma: Patrice Bergeron and Weisser in the faceoff.

In the Year That Never Was, Weisser played with the Rampage and was even loaned out to the Chicago Wolves. With the Wolves he went as far as the 2005 Calder Cup finals, where they lost to the Philadelphia Phantoms. When the NHL came back, he struggled with various injuries over two seasons even while extending his contract. But in the 2009-09 season he came back, racking up 47 assists in 78 games. The next two years were steady points wise, and this season not only sees him with 11 goals and 18 assists, but he’s also the longest tenured Panther on the team. Will be named captain of the team? A lot of fans think he should…you know what? I do, too.

It's not the Winter Classic, just Panthers practice at a Central Park rink.

– Krista

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