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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mike "Dream" Weaver: Underrated Trade Deadline Acquisition

Weaver is playing well for the Habs.
When Montreal Canadiens' general manager Marc Bergevin acquired Mike Weaver in exchange for a fifth round draft pick, most hockey fans did not even know who he was. Since then, the 35-year-old veteran has proven his worth on the blue line, especially with assistant captain Josh Gorges out with an injury. 

The native of Bramalea, Ontario has recorded one goal and six assists for seven points to go along with a +11 rating in 14 games since his acquisition from the Panthers. Quite a turnaround for the right-handed rearguard, who was struggling with Florida, posting only six assists and a -9 plus/minus differential in 55 games. 

The 5'10'', 180-lb blueliner has been a steady presence on the team's third defensive pairing despite playing with several different partners like Douglas Murray, Jarred Tinordi and Francis Bouillon. Weaver has been a force on the penalty kill and has been on a four-game point streak, notching one goal and four assists for five points to go with a splendid +8 rating in his last four games. 

With P.K. Subban struggling lately, Weaver has been getting more ice time, playing at least 19 minutes in his last four games and a season-high 25:39 against the Ottawa Senators last Friday. An adept shot blocker, Weaver now has 119 blocked shots this season to go along with 119 hits despite his smaller stature. 

While he is not a flashy defenseman, Weaver is rarely out of position and he is great at making a good first pass to get out of the defense zone and kick start the offense. Weaver, as opposed to Thomas Vanek, has a better chance to remain with the Habs next season even if he is also an impending unrestricted free agent. Other than P.K. Subban and prospect Greg Pateryn, Weaver is the only right-handed defenseman in the organization right now that can play in the NHL. With veterans Douglas Murray and Francis Bouillon both unlikely to return next season, Weaver makes a lot of sense a cheap depth defenseman to play on the third pairing with Nathan Beaulieu or Jarred Tinordi.

Weaver, who is making only $1.1 million this season, could prove to be a great bargain in the off-season and a much better signing than Davis Drewiske or even Douglas Murray. In the meantime, head coach Michel Therrien will be hard press to keep Weaver in the press box as he is now definitely one of the top five Habs defensemen. 

Not known for his offensive prowess, Weaver is a veteran who brings character, experience and stability, three important qualities you need from your defensive corps in the playoffs.

Should Marc Bergevin try to re-sign Weaver this summer?

Follow me on Twitter at @FredPoulin98

No Foolin' Fred Poulin

1 comments:

Easy one yes. 2 year contract at 1 to 1.5 a year is worth it

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