Forget Waldo, Where’s Weber?
Photo: Pascal Ratthé
What does the future hold for Yannick Weber? Appearing in just one game for the Habs this season is not a good sign and frankly I do not see him entering the lineup any time soon. With Raphael Diaz now out with a concussion this draws Tomas Kaberle back into the lineup for the first time since February 2nd. Considering 31% of Montreal’s offensive output comes from the blue line Kaberle is the more logical choice as he is more of an offensive threat than Weber. So where exactly does Weber fit in with this Habs team?
Weber, 24, is an RFA come seasons end at $850,000 and has seen action in just 110 games since turning pro in 2008/09. Last season Weber suited up for 60 games scoring four goals, 14 assists and posted a -7 rating. The season before Weber posted 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) and an even rating in 41 games played. His 18 points last season ranked third amongst Habs defensemen so why has he not seen any full-time action this season? Well the number one reason is the health of the guys above him on the depth chart. Guys like Markov (3 GP) and Campoli (43) missed significant time due to injuries giving way to Weber to show what exactly he can do. Then this past offseason Francis Bouillon was brought back while Raphael Diaz and Alexei Emelin were rewarded with two-year contracts warranting a heavier workload leaving Weber the odd man out once again.
Coach Michel Therrien does not like to have talent sit for extended periods of time with no game action so is it safe to say Weber will be moved at some point this season? A player of Weber’s calibre is coveted throughout the league and if/when made available should have several teams interested. However what kind of return will you expect for a player who has played just one game thus far? Personally, I have always been fond of Weber and while I would like to see him in-game action for the Habs this season I would much rather prefer to see him traded to a team that will utilize his services accordingly. Also would this even be an issue if this were not a shortened season? Some food for thought.
So until we find out what exactly Marc Bergevin has in mind when it comes to Weber let me play the devil’s advocate and plant a little thought inside the heads of Habs fans. What if MB was able to pull off a trade involving Tomas Kaberle or simply buy out the remainder of his contract? Would that open the door once again for Weber? Also if a buyout is in the near future (Kaberle) will Weber still be a member of the Montreal Canadiens?