In a discussion of offers to Edmonton for the first overall pick, TSN's Darren Dreger mentions that new Florida GM Dale Tallon is working the phones hard to rebuild his team - including shopping around forwards Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss.
With a cap hit of 3.1 million through 2013, Weiss is certainly easier to swallow under the cap than Spezza, and his stats might not match Spezza's normal point a game pace, but they are reasonably comparable to Antoine Vermette - perhaps even a shade better, as Weiss has put up back to back 60 point seasons in the past two years. Weiss also has some of the best foot speed in the NHL, and comes in as the fifth best faceoff man in the NHL...just behind Vermette. He's also known for eating up the tough minutes for Florida, frequently facing opponents top lines at both even strength and the PK.
Columbus and Florida don't have much of a trade history aside from the deal that swapped the #1 and #3 picks in 2002, and the recent deal that sent D-man Mathieu Roy to the Panthers for prospect Matt Rust. On the other hand, GM Scott Howson has done several minor league deals with new Florida GM Dale Tallon back when he was running the Blackhawks, so it's entirely possible that he'd be willing to listen to a deal.
We have been eagerly awaiting Derick Brassard to take the next step in his career, but if we had the chance to acquire Weiss, using him as a #2 center, taking advantage of his speed, hands, and faceoff skills, would it be worth sending Brass to the sunshine state, letting him become part of the youth movement for the Panthers? I can't guarantee that Weiss or Vermette are the ideal #1 center for Nash, but on the other hand, they would provide one hell of a punch down the middle, reinforcing the team's depth at center and giving time for the team to develop more home grown talent.
Another possibility is the team's logjam of defensive prospects - with Florida looking to rebuild from the net out, perhaps a prospect like Steven Delisle or Brent Regner, packaged with one or both of the team's second round picks, might catch Tallon's eye.
Though, like the Spezza talk, this is all just speculation based on rumor, it's easy to see how the team could make excellent use of a player like Weiss.