The NHL draft has come and gone. Free-agency acquisitions are coming to an end, and training camps are starting. The Florida Panthers still do not have a captain.
The trade of former captain Olli Jokinen has left the Panthers without any continuity as far as leadership. Many say that veteran Cory Stillman was brought in to be the next captain, but the Panthers need a young player who has been on the team for a while to step up and become a leader.
Younger players like Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, Jay Bouwmeester, and even Brett Mclean could be excellent leaders for this young team. I feel that Stephen Weiss has the most potential for being a great captain.
Weiss has played for the Panthers for four seasons, and seems to be well liked by his teammates. Players like Horton and David Booth seem like they really enjoy playing on the same line with him.
Weiss was drafted fourth overall in the 2001 NHL draft. Florida realized that he had potential and play-making ability, and felt he could be a great leader for the Panthers in the future.
The young center was also an excellent leader for the Plymouth Whalers while playing under new Panthers coach Peter DeBoer. Weiss was able to show how effective he could be on and off the ice.
The Florida Panthers will need to make a decision soon, as the 2008-09 season is set to begin. It would be a "Weiss" choice to go with Stephen.