Stephen Weiss (born April 3, 1983) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player. Weiss plays the centre position and is an alternate captain for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Weiss played his junior career with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and recorded statistics that impressed scouts and made him one of the highest selections in the North American Central Scouting Report. In his rookie season, Weiss recorded 66 points and followed it up with a spot on the OHL First All-Rookie Team. Weiss continued to post eye popping numbers in his sophomore season by recording 87 points and earning a top five position among North American skaters.
As a result of his junior accolades, Weiss was drafted 4th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Weiss returned to the Whalers in 2001–02 and although his point totals decreased from the previous year, he posted a respectable 70 points.
Florida Panthers: 2001–04
Weiss went on to make his NHL debut during the final weeks of the 2001–02 NHL season, recording a goal and an assist during his seven game stint. On April 16, 2002, Weiss signed a three year entry level contract with the Panthers.
In his first full NHL season, Weiss recorded six goals and 15 assists in 77 games, missing 5 of them with a broken toe. Weiss also played in the NHL YoungStars Game in front of his home crowd at the Office Depot Center, in what would be the highlight of his season as he recorded a goal and an assist in the game as the Eastern Conference went on to win the game 8–3. Weiss’s second full season did not go as well as he struggled to adjust toMike Keenan‘s coaching style and was assigned to the Panthers AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage for a ten game stint. Weiss returned to the Panthers lineup in November, where he remained for the remainder of the season. He missed a good portion of the 2003–04 season due to a sprained knee, followed by a broken leg which caused him to miss the remainder of the season. Weiss recorded 10 goals and 19 assists in 50 games that season.
San Antonio Rampage/Chicago Wolves: 2004–05
As the 2004–05 NHL season was wiped out due to a labor dispute, the Panthers assigned Weiss to their farm team in San Antonio, where he recorded 15 goals and 23 assists with the Rampage before he was loaned to the Chicago Wolves for the remainder of the season.
Weiss would go on to taste his first post-season at the professional level as he recorded two goals and seven assists as the Wolves made their way to the 2005 Calder Cup Finals, where they eventually lost to the Philadelphia Phantoms in seven games.
Florida Panthers: 2005–present
When the NHL returned for the 2005–06 NHL season, Weiss re-signed with the Panthers as a restricted free agent. He then endured one of his most frustrating campaigns, missing the majority of the season due to a serious wrist injury. Weiss recorded 29 points in 41 games with the team. The following season, Weiss returned to the Panthers lineup, but missed significant time due to knee and shoulder injuries. He signed a six-year contract extension with the Panthers during the off-season. Weiss, looking to improve on his showing, followed up his efforts by recording 13 goals and 29 assists in 74 games, despite missing time due to a the flu and shoulder injuries.
The 2008–09 season was seen as a coming out party of sorts for Weiss, as he flourished under Peter DeBoer, his former coach in junior. In that year, he played a career-high 78 games and recorded a career-high 47 assists. Weiss was also able to stay healthy, despite missing four games with a groin injury. The following season, Weiss continued his pace by recording a career high 28 goals along with 32 assists in a career high 80 games. In 2010-11, Weiss saw his production dip to 49 points and became a target of trade rumors throughout the course of the year.
On February 23, 2012, Weiss set a franchise record by playing in his 614th game in a Panthers jersey. He was honored in a ceremony on February 26, 2012, before a home game against the Montreal Canadiens; he scored two goals that night, including the game winner.
After 637 career games without a playoff appearance, Weiss made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Weiss recorded three goals and two assists in the Panthers seven game series loss to the New Jersey Devils.
|Men’s ice hockey|
|Competitor for Canada|
|World Junior Championships|
At the 2002 IIHF World U20 Championships, he was selected to Team Canada. Weiss recorded a goal and three assists and earn a silver medal as Canada would go on to lose to Russia in the gold medal game.