Old coach has words for Weiss

Mikael Samuelsson and Stephen Weiss, of the Florida Panthers, after he scored a first period goal...

Mikael Samuelsson and Stephen Weiss, of the Florida Panthers, after he scored a first period goal against the Boston Bruins last month. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images/AFP)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:44 PM ET

If Peter DeBoer bumps into Stephen Weiss during the next few days, he knows what he will say to the Florida Panthers forward.

Congratulations.

The two go back a long way, as DeBoer coached Weiss for two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers, 1999-2001.

Then DeBoer coached Weiss for three years with the Panthers, 2008-11.

When DeBoer's New Jersey Devils and Weiss' Panthers clash in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal, it will mark Weiss' first NHL playoff game. This after nine seasons and 637 games for the 29-year-old centre, all with Florida.

"I'm happiest for Stephen and for (Panthers executive) Bill Torrey," DeBoer said. "Bill has been there and seen it all. I've known Stephen since he was 16, and every time I would run into him during the summer back home, you could see the pain in his face from not making the playoffs."


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