Atlanta Thrashers v Florida Panthers

Impending UFA Weiss: “I want to end my career with the Panthers”

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Stephen Weiss has made it clear — he’s committed to staying in Sunrise.

“I want to end my career with the Panthers,” Weiss told the Miami Herald. “This organization has been very good to me. We’re starting to see brighter days ahead with the kids we have coming up and some of the draft picks we’ve stockpiled.”

There’s just one catch — Weiss’ six-year, $18.6 million deal expires at the end of 2012-13. The lockout interrupted talks of a contract extension and the 29-year-old said he won’t negotiate a deal while the regular season is on (whenever that starts.)

So, he’s in limbo. And limbo could be an issue, something the Herald’s George Richards points out:

When asked if he understood the ramifications of playing the 2012-13 season as a pending free agent, Weiss nodded emphatically. The Panthers, like the Cavaliers with LeBron James, have been burned by pending free agents.

Florida, if it was out of the playoff race at the trade deadline, may be tempted to trade Weiss instead of potentially losing him for nothing. Of course, that’s a long way away…

…In 2009, Florida lost All-Star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester for virtually nothing as he refused to re-sign with the Panthers.

Richards notes that Bouwmeester disliked playing in Florida — in ’09, his agent reportedly gave then-GM Jacques Martin a list of teams Bouwmeester wanted to be traded to — whereas Weiss likes the city and franchise.

“There’s nothing but good days ahead for this team. I believe that,” he said. “I would like to stay and be a part of it.”

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.