SUNRISE (CBS4) – The longest tenured Florida Panthers player is now an ex-Panther. Center Stephen Weiss has signed with the Detroit Red Wings for $24.5 million over five years, according to SportsNet.ca.
The deal for nearly $5 million per season takes Weiss from the basement to the penthouse in terms of hockey royalty. The Red Wings were looking for a center after moving on from last year’s trio that didn’t get Detroit where they wanted to be, which is hoisting the Stanley Cup.
What may be discouraging for Panthers fans to hear is that, according to SporsNet.ca, the Panthers never offered Weiss a contract and that his choices were St. Louis or Detroit.
Losing Weiss makes Florida’s move during last weekend’s NHL Draft understandable.
The Panthers passed up on the top-rated overall player in the draft, Seth Jones, to draft an NHL-ready center in Alexander Barkov from Finland with the number two overall pick.