Stephen Weiss Says Toronto Maple Leafs Are the Only Option

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIIFebruary 28, 2011

TORONTO - OCTOBER 26: Stephen Weiss #9 of the Florida Panthers shoots during warmup before game action at the Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs October 26, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs won 3-1. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

Nick Kypreos of Rogers Sportsnet broke the new this morning that Florida Panthers centerman Stephen Weiss will only waive his no-trade clause to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Both Weiss and David Booth are players that Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said he would be willing to move, but only if the right deal comes along.

Weiss has now made a decision that may or may not force him to be moved.

Kypreos said, in return for Weiss, Florida would most likely ask for one of the first round draft picks and Nazem Kadri.

Darren Dreger said there is no way that Toronto gives up that package. He also reported that Toronto might not make a push for Weiss at all.

That is not to say that Brian Burke won't call. If we are going to give up Kadri, we could send them Kadri and the third-rounder we acquired in the Kris Versteeg deal. With Tallon rebuilding the Panthers as he sees fit, Weiss could very well become expendable enough that they would accept this deal.

With two years remaining on his contract carrying a $3.1 million cap hit, Weiss will most likely be easier to move than Booth who is still under contract for four more years with a $4.25 million cap hit.

If Tallon, wants this rebuild to lead to success sooner rather than later, he might have to trade one, if not both, of Weiss and Booth in return for prospects and picks in this years draft.

The Buffalo Sabres acquired Brad Boyes from the St. Louis in return for only a second-round pick, which could influence what Weiss is worth. Boyes and Weiss have comparable stats this year, so if Tallon were to ask for Kadri and one of the first-rounders, I'm pretty sure that Burke just might hang up the phone.

In 61 games this season, Weiss has compiled 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points. Weiss might be a vast improvement over Tyler Bozak as the first line center, and a first line consisting of Weiss, Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul doesn't look half bad.

All this being said, if you're watching, listening or following any of the trade deadline shows on today and you hear about a trade involving Weiss, you can be pretty sure where he will be going.