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Talking with Pete DeBoer, Stephen Weiss

Weiss RALEIGH, N.C. – Center Stephen Weiss was back at practice Monday after missing his second game in a three week span with what is believed to be a lower back injury.

Weiss is expected to be back in the lineup Tuesday against the Hurricanes and should play in Florida’s final two games before the Olympic break. At that point, Weiss should be able to get some much needed rest.

After the Panthers play host to Boston on Saturday, they don’t play again until March 2.

“He needs to get back 100 percent healthy,’’ said coach Pete DeBoer. “Those two weeks are coming just at the right time for him.’’

Despite the obvious benefits of rest, Weiss said he would just as soon keep playing through the break. The Panthers are likely suggest he shut things down for a few days as they would like to have him as close to 100 percent as they head down the stretch.

The Panthers have already lost winger Nathan Horton to a broken leg and Weiss has slumped as he’s fought through the injury. Weiss has just one goal in the past 10 games. “This hasn’t just crept up,’’ DeBoer said, “and we’re seeing the effects of that in his stats. He’s not 100 percent.’’

It’s thought he aggravated the injury Friday night against the Flames.

“It will be nice to be able to heal and get better, but I want to keep playing,’’ said Weiss. “I don’t like too much time off but it will be good to take care of these bumps and bruises before the final push.’’

DeBoer had a little surprise for Weiss upon his return as the top line has changed up. Weiss will center David Booth and Cory Stillman, with second-year winger Michael Frolik dropped to the third line.

Like Weiss, Frolik has been in a prolonged scoring slump. Frolik hasn’t scored since Jan. 13.

The Panthers have scored 12 goals in their past 10 games. In their three game losing streak, Florida has scored just three goals.

“Not many players in this league are at the top of their game all season,’’ said DeBoer. “You would like a couple guys to be hot while a couple are cold so you have some guys to carry you through. The problem we have is we don’t have anyone riding that offensive wave, or at least being at the top of it.’’

(*) The Panthers had a spirited practice at RBC Center on Monday with new lines. DeBoer ended the session with a shootout competition with lots of skating as he split the team in two. With so many players in a prolonged scoring slump, DeBoer figured he would change things up – and hope that helps.

“We’re pretty demanding as a staff on a daily basis,’’ DeBoer said. “It’s a long season. You can’t keep pounding the table with the same thing. You have to try other things.’’

(*) DeBoer and Carolina coach Paul Maurice had lunch together on Monday. The two rival coaches have been best of friends for years, with Maurice giving DeBoer his first junior coaching job when both were living in the Detroit area.

TUESDAY: PANTHERS AT HURRICANES

When, Where: 7 p.m.; RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.

TV/Radio: FSNF/WAXY-790

The series: Hurricanes lead 42-32-11

The game: Carolina is tied for the fewest points in the NHL, but the Canes have been better of late and have won six of eight – including two straight on the road. The Panthers, losers of three straight, are winless in two games here this season. Tomas Vokoun will start in net for Florida; Carolina may counter with rookie Justin Peters after he won his NHL debut Saturday on Long Island.

Comments

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Poor Stevie and his injuries! Now DeBoer is making excuses for him too and that you can't expect 100% for 82 games. B.S. He's a fragile player who has yet to play a full season. And because we keep trotting him out there as a number on center, he's not able to keep up.

Get a real number one center, drop him to the second line, trade Rhino and let's move on.

As far as line combos, why does Olesz get to stay on the second line?

How many times does Deboer need to change the lineup? I think that we all have lost count. He is replacing the same players with the same output in offensive production.

Kittens, what else can he do? he has no one in the minors to call up. Cann you spell HEALTHY SCRATCH? Not on this team

Last year, Pete said the team was "offensively challenged." Well they still are. The big change -- Reinprect and Moore. Neither has any offensive skills. So blame the managment.

McArdle, Oreskovich, Duco..... How in the wide world does Tarnasky have a spot over these guys. Or Kreps for that matter... or Campbell. Geeeeez

I'd love to see more Duco. Those are your 3 guys right there (The M.O.D. Squad). THat's got a ring to it, George.

Hey Eric, great line and great name. And yes those three guys would be a perfect 4th line.

I think a great message would be to start putting guys on waivers and let the top guys in Rochester fill their spots, starting with Tarnasky, Kreps and Campbell.

I agree that we have a poor front office.

Here is a quote from Canada about Sexton who was pulled off the streets by JM the GM to be his assistant GM when he realized that he needed help on the GM part while coaching.

"Gauthier was plucked out of the Anaheim Ducks organization to take over the Senators’ operation in December, 1996, when the expansion Senators were in crisis and faced with thousands of seats to sell in their new building. Dave King and Serge Savard had been interviewed to replace Randy Sexton"

We keep hearing what a great job Randy Sexton did in Ottawa yet it was Gauthier that is credited with turning that organization around.

This is from the Panther's web site: "Sexton spent eight years (1988-1996) with the Ottawa Senators organization serving as the club’s president, chief executive officer and general manager. During his tenure the Senators achieved enormous success and profitability in all areas of hockey and business operations and laid the foundation upon which the Senators' future success was built"

Where is the credibility and accountability. We have a GM that was out of the NHL for years, we have not hired an assistant GM, we have 3 pro scouts (2 of which are managers of the one pro scout), 7 amateur scouts and 1 European scout.

While in marketing we have: 27 people mostly in management.

Where does Yormark put his resources in the product or marketing the product.

Weiss and Horton are injured, why because they were spending too much time on the ice as we have no other fowards that were playing well. Of course they were injured.

I second big slap shot...

DeBoer and Maurice go back farther than coaching. They were teammates on the Windsor Spitfires during the 1980s for several seasons. Adam Graves was also on that team as well.

Sexton spent one and a half seasons as Ottawas GM before being replaced. He was an easy choice for the Panthers as nobody worth having would take the GM job with ownership change pending let alone take the job at all in Florida. On top of that, Cohen was looking to go as cheap as possible at that point. Sexton should have kept the interim tag but removing it and naming him GM was an easy way out for Cohen at that point.

And for the record, Horton broke his leg when Siedenberg hit him with the puck. Didnt have anything to do with his ice time. Just something that happened. And Weiss doesnt make it through an entire season, he does miss some injury time. But that doesnt make him expendable. He's a good second line center. Florida needs to find a quality center for the top line and another winger that can score. There are some assets on this team, they just need real help. And that is the way it has been for seasons now. The real needs are never addressed during the offseason. More role players are added when talent is what is needed. It will remain that way, with free agency the only way to fill the needs until they can scout and/or draft effectively. That will take real changes in the office and if the new managing partners dont figure that out they will be as worthless as the controlling owners as Cohen was.

DAR I agree with you, Weiss is at best a second line center, Horton before this season was lazy but he still does not go to the areas necessary to score goals, in fact none of th6e panthers forwards go to the areas necessary to score g5oals.

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