SUNRISE, Fla. The heart of the Florida Panthers has been playing with a heavy one.
Stephen Weiss, the longest tenured Panther, returned to the team Thursday after attending his grandmother's funeral in Toronto.
This season has been a rough one for Weiss, both on and off the ice, and Sunday may have been its lowest point. After failing to click on the top line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller, Weiss found himself benched by coach Kevin Dineen for most of the third period in Florida's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. Not long after the contest, Weiss learned of his grandmother's passing.
"I didn't know until after the Boston game," Weiss said. "I talked to my dad and he let me know she passed that morning. I knew she was not in the best shape over the past year, the quality of life was a little bit low. But certainly over the past couple days before the Boston game, she wasn't doing too well."
Weiss is the type of player who refuses to make excuses for his on-ice struggles...