This was as close to a Canadiens post season sure thing as there was. The Canadiens have signed forward Dale Weise to a two year contract. He will be a million dollars for each of the two years and increase of 250 thousand over last year’s contract. Weise could have become a restricted free agent on July first..
The Canadiens acquired Weise in early February in return for defenseman Raphael Diaz who had become a spare part in Montreal. After only six games, Diaz was flipped to the Rangers for a fifth round draft pick. So in the end it was a hard checking, highly competitive 6’3” fourth line forward with tremendous skating ability for the Canadiens seventh defenseman.
Weise will never be confused with Guy Lafleur. He’s a third or fourth line player who has the potential to be a solid building block for the Canadiens because of his size and physical presence and, off what we saw during the Stanley Cup run, he is one of those players who Marc Bergevin likes to say “gets you through the playoffs.”
The way the Canucks handled Weise could be held up as one of the examples of how badly mismanaged the Canucks were top to bottom. John Tortorella ignored the strengths of Weise’s game and tried to turn him into his designated fighter. When his skill set didn’t fit the bill, he was sent on his way to a team that prizes skill over fisticuffs.
In his VancouverProvince column May 6th, Jason Botchford wrote,
Much like David Booth and some others, Weise was confused for months with the way Tortorella talked to him, about him and the way he was deployed, or more accurately not played
In two previous years in Vancouver, at the very least, Weise established himself as a decent fourth liner and there weren’t a lot of those in Vancouver this year.
But when Tortorella arrived Weise admits he was back to “square 1″ in terms of proving he was an NHL regular.
On a team with a below average bottom six, Tortorella continued to scratch a healthy Weise.
Then, after returning from his Hartley suspension, the former Canucks head coach ripped Vancouver for being too soft and lacking toughness, and did all that the same day Weise was traded to Montreal.