The Habs appear to have found a replacement for Raphael Diaz via the trade
route. On Tuesday, they acquired defenceman Mike Weaver from the Florida
Panthers. In return, Montreal parts with their 2015 5th round pick.
Weaver has nearly 600 games of NHL experience and has spent the last four
seasons with the Panthers.
Those who wanted the Canadiens to add some size to their blueline won’t be
fans of this move as Weaver is one of the smaller defencemen in the league at
5’10 and 183 lbs. The 35 year old does, however, play a gritty game.
His 102 hits ranked him 3rd on the Panthers (2nd amongst their defence) while
his 94 blocks leads the team. With the Habs coveting shot blocking from
the back end (four d-men, including the now-dealt Diaz, have 100 or more
blocks), he should fit in well. He also is a right shooting blueliner
which is worth noting considering before this trade, P.K. Subban was the only
one on the active roster who shoots right-handed.
Weaver isn’t going to contribute much on the offensive end. He has just
one goal in the past three years and has just seven in 585 career regular season
games. Fortunately, that’s not likely what the team needs from him.
He averages just shy of three minutes per game in ice time on the penalty kill
and will likely slide into the role currently occupied by Jarred Tinordi, play
around 15 minutes a night and kill penalties.
Weaver is in the last year of a two year deal signed before the lockout that
carries a cap hit of $1.1 million (the Habs will pick up just over $230,000 in
salary). He will be a UFA at the end of the year. From a cap
perspective, the club has around $6.5 million in full-season salary to spend
before bonuses which is closer to about $3 million by the time you factor in the
bonuses and an allowance for late-season recalls.