« TOMAS KOPECKY MORE THAN A PEST: Kopecky Successful in Agitating and Scoring ... Weiss Returning from Funeral; Versteeg, Upshall Close | Main | PANTHERS RALLY FOR POINT: Buffalo Tops Florida 4-3 in SO after Leading 3-2 in Third ... Mike Weaver Out Perhaps for a While »

WEISS IS BACK: Panthers Forward Ready to Get Back on Ice ... Puts Family Tragedy, Benching Behind Him

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Stephen Weiss was back with the Panthers on Thursday after missing a few days to be with his family after the passing of his grandmother, Elizabeth Weiss.

Stephen spoke to the media at the Iceplex today and said his grandmother passed away before Sunday's game -- one in which he was benched in the third period -- against the Bruins. He said he didn't know until afterward.

“She meant a lot to all our family,'' Weiss said. "Like my dad said yesterday and the story he told, she didn’t have a mean bone in her body. Very warm, always ready to give you advice. I just always remember going there Christmas Eve and spending time with them was always fun. We’ll miss her for sure.”

Weiss also said he knew his grandmother wasn't doing too well but his parents kept the severity of it from him as well.

"I talked to my dad and he let me know that she passed that morning,'' Weiss said. "I knew she was not in the best shape over the last year, so quality of life was a little bit low. But certainly over the last couple of days before the Boston game, she wasn’t doing too well. But they didn’t tell me.”

Weiss also spoke about being benched by Dineen saying that he controls whether he plays or not -- meaning "if I play better, that's not going to happen.''

“It’s never fun to be sat and the easy answer is to play better. That’s the bottom line,'' he said. "That stuff doesn’t bother me. It’s not the first time I’ve been benched and it’s probably not the last time I’ll be benched. It’s just a matter of how you deal with it. You put it behind you and just keep pushing forward, try to play better.”

With the season he has had, Weiss sure would like to hit the reset button. Perhaps getting away from things for a few days will help.

“Yeah, it was definitely nice to go back home and see the family. Anytime something like that happens, it kind of refocuses you. I’m kind of looking forward to playing tonight.”