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May 28, 2013 | 11:33am ET
Weiss poised to test market
TheFourthPeriod.com

Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss is expected to test the free agent waters this summer, when the doors swing open on July 5.

Weiss, who had season-ending wrist surgery this year, is in the final year of a six-year, $18.6 million contract.

Since being drafted fourth-overall by the Panthers in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Weiss has played in 654 career NHL regular-season games with the organization, accumulating 145 goals and 249 assists for 394 points.

His best seasons came in 2008-09 and 2009-10, when he picked up a career-high 47 assists and 61 points (2008-09) and 28 goals (2009-10).

After registering 57 points last season, Weiss only picked up just one goal and three assists in 17 games this year.

Weiss could be one of the most coveted forwards this summer, joining Washington's Mike Ribeiro and Toronto's Tyler Bozak as the main centermen currently unsigned.

The market could change, as several teams are expected to buy out certain players -- such as the Rangers' Brad Richards and Philadelphia's Danny Briere -- but Weiss is still expected to be highly sought-after.

Weiss made $4.1 million, prorated, this season, though his annual salary cap hit was $3.1 million. He should see his salary climb well north of $5 million of any deal he signs.

The Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets all showed an interest in Weiss prior to his surgery and are likely to knock on his door this summer.


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