Implications of the Diaz-Weise Trade

Marc Bergevin has made his first trade of the season, acquiring Dale Weise from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Raphael Diaz. The Swiss defenseman was a healthy scratch for the past 8 games, recording a total of 11 points-all assists – in 46 games this season. Weise, a right winger, has recorded 3 goals and 9 assists in 44 games, while averaging 7:45 of ice time per game. Diaz is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and will likely command a pay raise. Weise will become a restricted free agent.

With the Olympic trade freeze coming into place between February 7 to 23, and the trade deadline on March 5, Diaz’s trade may signal the beginning of several moves by Bergevin.

Essentially, the Habs traded a 2nd or 3rd pairing defenseman for a 4th line forward. Trading away Diaz for a forward seems to indicate that management intends to keep Nathan Beaulieu with the team, with the possibility of a prospect being called up if needed.

Weise’s arrival will leave the Canadiens with 15 forwards once Alex Galchenyuk and Ryan White return from injury, which they are expected to after the Olympics.

I’ve never seen Weise play, so I looked for a scouting report on him. While it’s not the most recent report, Corey Pronman’s 2011 list of the Ranger’s top 10 prospects¬† had this to say about Weise three years ago:

“The Good: Weise is a solid skater with an above-average top speed. He’s a pretty hard worker on the ice and a very good forechecker who doesn’t shy from driving opponents into the boards. Weise plays with a bit of an agitating edge and likes to get involved in the physical part of the game. He has decent abilities with the puck and is able to make a play with the puck, and has fine abilities as a distributor. He plays a solid defensive game, and his reads and reactions in that department are advanced enough to play at the next level in a defensive role.

The Bad: Weise was notably inconsistent last season, as there were games where he would be a physical and a partial offensive force and then he would simply look like a depth player in other games. He doesn’t show above-average offensive abilities, although he’s not exactly fringe in regards to his hands and instincts either.

Projection: An above-average third line forward who safely projects onto a top nine.”

Weise appears to have settled into a bottom six role based on his ice time and production, but his point totals are higher than those of Rene Bourque, who has 9 points this season. At 25 years of age, I think Weise’s room for growth is limited, but if given the chance and the ice time, he may become a regular contributor. Interestingly, Pronman ranked Weise as the eighth best prospect, right behind current Habs prospect Christian Thomas, who just played in his first two games as a Hab before being set down to the Bulldogs as a result of the trade.

For now, I would expect Weise to get a chance on the 3rd or 4th line, but he may also be rotating with other players in and out of the press box. With potentially 15 healthy forwards when the team resumes play after Sochi, I think Bergevin is getting ready to trade some forwards out of town.

Returning to Diaz, I think the Habs may have been able to get a bit more for Diaz, such as another defenseman who’s fallen out of his team’s favor, or a later round draft pick in addition to Weise. However, this trade shows that Bergevin is looking to get something for the players he may potentially lose or choose not to resign in the offseason.

A spot on the defense opens up next season for prospects Jarred Tinordi, Greg Pateryn and/or Magnus Nygren; Tinordi or Pateryn could even be called up this season if the Canadiens wished. As right handed shooters, Pateryn or Nygren could fill the void left by Diaz on the right side, as P.K. Subban is now the team’s only true right side¬† defenseman.

In the bigger picture, you have to wonder what Bergevin is looking to do next. Will he be selling off other upcoming free agents, like Andrei Markov and Brian Gionta? Or will he look to trade other players to improve the team’s roster in preparation for the rest of the season, and hopefully the playoffs?
Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eleven − 2 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Carey Price Deserves Better Than the Montreal Canadiens

It is needless to say that Carey Price is on a team that simply does not capitalize on his abilities. The Habs are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third straight year. And while the injuries and bad calls are valid excuses for their current losing streak, there are plenty of errors […]

Share Button