Stephen Weiss

If Weiss has played last game for Panthers, ‘it’s been a good ride’

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Stephen Weiss thinks it would be “awesome” to finish his career with the Florida Panthers, but he’s also realistic.

Weiss, a pending unrestricted free agent, spoke with reporters today prior to undergoing season-ending wrist surgery next week. The 29-year-old center who was drafted fourth overall by the Panthers in 2001 recognizes he may have played his last game for the only NHL organization he’s ever known.

“It’s definitely not the way I would have written it if that is the case,” said Weiss, per “It kind of burns at me that this is the way it could be going out, but you know what, that’s life sometimes. You’ve got to deal with the cards you’re dealt.

“If it is the last game, it’s the last game, and I hope that everyone understands why I made this decision. It’s been a good ride.”

Weiss — the Panthers’ second-leading scoring in franchise history (394 points), behind Olli Jokinen (419) — would draw considerable interest in free agency should he decide to test the waters.

And with a number of veteran forwards already under contract (Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Tomas Kopecky), combined with a talented crop of youngsters (Jonathan Huberdeau, Drew Shore, Quinton Howden, Peter Mueller), Florida may decide that joining the bidding for Weiss doesn’t make sense.

The Panthers were faced with a similar decision when defenseman Jason Garrison became an unrestricted free agent last summer. Ultimately, Garrison signed a big deal with the Canucks.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”