Stephen Weiss on verge of playing most games in Panthers history

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One of the bullet points of the slew of Rick Nash trade rumors is that he’s been stuck with a sad sack franchise for his entire NHL career.

Then again, at least he’s been to the playoffs (albeit in a humiliating sweep) in his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The same can’t be said for Stephen Weiss, who’s been through thin and really thin with the Florida Panthers.

The 28-year-old center is amid his 10th season in the league, with every single minute coming with the Panthers. To some, that might be considered the equivalent to a hockey prison sentence, but Weiss is striving to make a difference for the team. He’s also on the verge of a nice little milestone, as the Miami Hearld’s Robbie Levin points out that Weiss is one appearance away from playing more games (614) than any player in franchise history.*

Much like his idol Steve Yzerman, the fourth overall pick of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft hopes to stick with the same franchise for his entire career.

“It’s been a long road,” Weiss said. “But for the most part, I’m very happy to still be here and seeing this team get closer to where it needs to be.”

With all the prospects that GM Dale Tallon has stockpiled, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Weiss get rewarded for his patience with a steady stream of playoff appearances. In fact, that could even start in 2011-12.

Weiss’ career

Games Played: 613; Goals: 137; Assists: 237; Points: 374; -4 with 274 penalty minutes and 21 game-winning goals.

Zero playoff games.

* – Weiss is set to break his tie with Radek Dvorak for the franchise mark.

Here’s what deal between women’s team, USA hockey is reportedly worth

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It’s great news that the U.S. women’s national team and USA Hockey came together on a deal for the upcoming world championships.

Still, all we really know is that the contract lasts four years, as the two sides decided to keep the dollar figures between each other.

The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell laid out a lot of the possible numbers on his Twitter feed, giving us an idea of what reportedly sealed the deal.

First things first, Campbell reports that the deal is worth $3.7-$4 million overall.

That’s quite the impressive number on face value, but what does it mean for players over a four-year contract?

Campbell reports that earnings will range between $850K and $950K, depending upon how they perform in the tournament:

They’ll also receive the same travel and other miscellaneous amenities as the men’s team, but what about years that are more about training than competition?

Interesting stuff. Definitely check out Campbell’s feed for additional details.

This fight between Tom Wilson, Chris Stewart got downright gory (Video)

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For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.

Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.

Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.

Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.

Milestones: Matthews, Nylander break Leafs rookie records; Chara hits 600

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Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.

With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.

That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:

Switching gears, let’s go from new to (relatively) old: Zdeno Chara collected the 600th point of his outstanding career with an assist:

Yes, it’s true that most people think of his imposing size and all-world defensive instincts in praising Chara, but he’s been a respectable point producer, too.

U.S. women end boycott, will represent USA Hockey at worlds

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The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.

The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)

“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”

The U.S. women’s national team is scheduled to face Canada on Friday.

Here’s a screen cap of the press release for your convenience: