Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has announced that center Stephen Weiss is scheduled to undergo wrist surgery next week that would sideline him for about three months, effectively ending his frustrating season.
"He couldn't perform up to his capabilities, in his opinion, and he wanted to get it fixed," Tallon said. "It was difficult for him and for all of us. Stephen cares and he feels badly about it, but he's got to do what's best for him, too. This is a big year for him as well."
Weiss, the Panthers' first-round draft pick in 2001 and a four-time 20-goal scorer, has endured a difficult season that involved a recent benching and the death of his grandmother.
In 17 games, Weiss had just one goal and four points, and sported a minus-13 rating. The longest-tenured member of the Panthers, Weiss is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Tallon didn't provide details about whether Weiss aggravated an old injury or when he was injured. However, the wrist injury undoubtedly contributed to Weiss being credited with only 19 shots in 17 games.
"If he's not able to shoot on the power play, it renders him ineffective," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "We saw a different player in the past and it obviously affected his game. It's a loss for us."
Weiss led the team in scoring three consecutive seasons before finishing second to Tomas Fleischmann in 2011-12 when the Panthers won the Southeast Division and Weiss reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in his career.
"It's difficult," defenseman Erik Gudbranson said. "He's really a center point of this team, so it's going to be tough not having him around as much. We wish him all the best with the surgery."
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