Best Panthers Player (2010)

Stephen Weiss

Turns out the Florida Panthers might have known what they were doing back in 2001 after all. For years, fans have looked at the '01 draft — when the Cats held the fourth overall pick and a chance to turn their struggling franchise around — as a massive missed opportunity. The Panthers took a quick-skating center from Ontario named Stephen Weiss — and then watched him languish for almost a decade. Before 2010, Weiss had spent more years in the minors than the Bigs and had topped out with a 20-goal effort in 2006. Well, consider Weiss the Grandma Moses of the NHL, a classic late-bloomer, because this season, he has straight-up carried Florida's hockey franchise. Weiss leads the team in goals and points thanks to a season of inspired runs at the net, hard scuffles in the corner, and artful stick work. With fan fave David Booth injured most of the year, it was Weiss who kept the Panthers in the playoff hunt past the Olympic break.


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