NHL Trade Rumors: Boston Bruins Must Make Play for Stephen Weiss

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 6, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 24:  Stephen Weiss #9 of the Florida Panthers looks down towards the New Jersey Devils bench in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 24, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

We are only in the second month of the shortened NHL season, and already trade rumors are swirling around Florida Panthers forward, Stephen Weiss.

According to Jimmy Murphy of ESPNBoston.com (via Twitter), Weiss may still be available, despite the Panthers denial of such a rumor:

Panthers deny it but hearing more & more Panthers F Stephen Weiss is available. If so and I'm Peter Chiarelli, I'd go after him.

— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) February 5, 2013

Florida's general manager, Dale Tallon, has denied any rumors regarding Weiss' potential availability, per Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports

"Ridiculous," Tallon said. "I'm not trading him, I'm going to try to sign him."

Weiss is due to be a free agent at the end of this season and as Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports, the franchise might not have the cash to sign him.

If that's the case, there's a good chance he jumps ship and leaves Florida with nothing. That's a risky proposition for Tallon, and while he says he isn't looking to trade Weiss, chances are he wouldn't admit it anyway.

As Murphy stated, the Bruins should be making a call to Tallon to see if Weiss is realistically available behind the scenes and if he is, the Bruins must make a play for the talented forward.

The Bruins are enjoying a successful start to the 2012-13 season as they sit in first place in the Northeast Division with a 6-1-1 record and 13 points overall as of Wednesday morning.

Scoring goals haven't been much of an issue for the Bruins this season. Their 2.8 goals per game is good enough for No. 14 in the NHL, and with stellar defense and goaltending, this team is incredibly talented on both sides of the ice.

Weiss would be a great addition to an already solid roster. The 29-year-old has excellent speed, which makes him an obvious threat to score goals, but his playmaker abilities as a passer are just as impressive and important to his game.

Granted, Weiss hasn't gotten off to a good start to the 2012-13 campaign. He is without a single goal and only two assists, but his career numbers prove that he can score 20 to 25 goals in a normal year and notch around 30 to 40 assists.

Where Weiss could make the biggest impact is on the Bruins power-play unit. Boston is ranked No. 28 in the NHL in that category, coming in at a lowly 10 percent success rate. Adding Weiss' scoring and passing abilities would no doubt bolster that glaring weakness.

It's still early in the year, so don't expect any trades of this magnitude to happen right away. But if the Panthers feel they won't have the means to sign him, the Bruins could have a golden opportunity to make their team even better than it already is.