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Panthers re-assign pair to Chicago

The Florida Panthers on Tuesday re-assigned forward forward Stephen Weiss and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to the Chicago Wolves from the San Antonio Rampage.

Weiss, 21, was the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by Florida. He ranked first on the Rampage with 15 goals and 38 points in 62 games this season. Weiss has amassed 21 goals and 26 assists for 47 points in 72 career AHL contests.

A native of Markham, Ont., Weiss is already a veteran of 134 NHL games with the Panthers, recording 19 goals and 33 assists for 52 points.

Jay Bouwmeester played in the 2005 AHL All-Star Classic and was a member of Canada’s championship team at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Bouwmeester, 21, was the third overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by Florida. He has tallied four goals, 13 assists and a team-worst minus-22 rating in 64 games with San Antonio this season.

Bouwmeester, an Edmonton native, represented the Rampage at last month’s 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic, and played on Canada’s championship team at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He has played 143 career NHL matches with the Panthers, tallying six goals and 30 assists.

Neither Weiss nor Bouwmeester has professional playoff experience. Chicago currently sits four points out of first place in the West Division. The Wolves won the Calder Cup in 2002, then lost in the second round of the playoffs in both 2003 and 2004.

San Antonio is 11 points behind Houston for the final playoff spot in the West; the Aeros also have six games in hand.