Monday, February 3, 2014

Montreal Canadiens Trade Raphael Diaz to the Vancouver Canucks For Dale Weise, Analysis.

In the early afternoon of February 3rd Montreal Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz was Traded to the Vancouver Canucks for right winger Dale Weise.

Diaz, a 28-year-old Swiss defenseman who carries a cap hit of 1,25 million dollars,
had 11 points in 46 games with the Canadiens this season. Weise, a 25-year-old right winger from Winnipeg, carries a cap hit of $750,000 and had 3 goals and 9 assists for 12 points in 44 games with the Canucks this season. Diaz is slated to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season while Weise will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Here are their career statistics and physical attributes:

Raphael Diaz 5'11'' 194 LBS
128GP 4G 37A 41PTS 48PIM

Dale Weise 6'02'' 210 LBS
162GP 10G 16A 26PTS 185PIM

Raphael Diaz days with the Canadiens were all but done

Diaz hadn't played a game since January 16th, has only four career goals and is considered an offensive defenseman. He hadn't been quite as effective since returning from his concussion at the end of last season and with the emergence of prospect Nathan Beaulieu combined with the Canadiens' surplus of defenseman it seemed as if Diaz days with the Canadiens were numbered. The axe was going to fall on someone eventually and it fell on Diaz.

Dale Weise Energy player
Weise will be counted on to provide an energy role for the Canadiens on the fourth line. He is a gritty energy player who doesn't shy away from the physical aspect of the game and that includes fighting.
Expect George Parros to play less now that we have another right winger option in Dale Weise in the line-up. Contrary to Parros, Weise can contribute on the scoresheet. The Canadiens' new #22 is not an offensive dynamo, but will stick up for his team-mates and occasionally put points on the board. He has more goals than Travis Moen and more points than Brandon Prust and Rene Bourque this season. His season high for TOI is 14:43 in a game and usually averages between 7 or 8 minutes per game.

The outcome of this minor deal

Habs traded a player they knew they would let walk at the end of the season and whom was spending more time in the press box than on the ice for a gritty energy role player in the bottom six. That sounds pretty good right??

You could also argue that the Canadiens ruined any trade value Diaz had by letting him sit in the stands. You could say he is an Olympian and he deserved ice time. I don't believe that. He is a bottom-pairing defenseman who is going to be a UFA at the end of the year and he does not bring anything physical to your hockey team. That's what hurt his trade value.

Diaz was one of the Canadiens' only right-handed defensemen and that hurts the team a bit. Playing five left-handed d-men on any given night isn't ideal for any team. His handedness is also something the Canucks needed as well as help on their second power play unit.

Be warned Canucks fans: Diaz is very good at missing the net. He will get to reunite with fellow countryman Yannick Weber. Perhaps the Canucks are trying to assemble the entire Swiss Olympic team's defensive corps? All kidding aside, if Bergevin could have gotten more for Diaz, he would. The GM got market value. I consider market value, even if low, better than letting him go for nothing.

As for Weise, hopefully, he will address the depth issues the Habs are having with their bottom-six forward group. None of the recently called-up Bulldogs really impressed and the Bleu Blanc Rouge needed a gritty player who could come in and provide some energy and maybe a little offense. He is not the solution to the many offensive challenges that have faced the Canadiens this season, but that's not why Bergevin made his acquisition.

Habs also saved $475 000 in cap space, which may be used to bring in some more help.

In closing, I have to say the Canadiens players like Diaz don't have much trade value. If those players are expendable to a team struggling to hang to a playoff spot that means they aren't worth much. Diaz was a healthy scratch for the past two weeks and it would have been amazing to get more for him, but at some point reality has to set in. Best of Luck to Raphael Diaz in Vancouver and welcome to Montreal Dale Weise.

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Mike fell in love with the Canadiens at the age of 6 during the 1992-93 playoffs .When Eric Desjardins scored a hat trick in the finals that year he knew he was hooked. He is based in Montreal and studied Radio-Television. Follow Mike Gowing on twitter @habsosaurus


Forget about Our situation , at Least we arent the NJ Devils and that fat slob loser artin Brodeur, and speaking of Fat, most Americans are War Monger fat slobs. Courtnall

If Dale Weise ends up being a Brandon Prust type of player I'd be happy. As for Diaz, he is a top 5 D-man with second power play wave potential. Awful truth is that Diaz did not fit the habs line up anymore.

I'd been lobbying for a return of Diaz to the lineup over Murray, in my Musings I wanted him paired up with Beaulieu. Unfortunately that won't happen now. Weise is not great, but the truth is we do not have any good forward depth in Hamilton right now. Our talented players are still a year or two away. Leblanc, Thomas, Nattinen are not suited for the 4th line and have not produced in the role that Weise will fill the rest of the year when they had the opportunity, so we trade for roster filler instead.

If he can come in and play a Steve Begin role, or be a second Brandon Prust, the fans will like him. He'll be more physical than Moen and if he can aggressively forecheck and crash the net, he'll be more effect than Bourque.

We basically traded an expired asset (In MB & MT's eyes) for the depth player we do not have in the AHL.

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