Although the Thomas Vanek deal has received all of the headlines, the Habs’
trade activity started the day before the trade deadline. Back on Tuesday,
the team picked up Mike Weaver from Florida to add some depth to the blueline,
especially in the wake of Josh Gorges’ hand injury. Having had some time
to ponder the move, our writers offer up their thoughts on Weaver’s acquisition.
Note that the comments were submitted prior to the Vanek deal.
For those wondering, we will have another one of these columns on that trade.
Simon Aronson: In Weaver, Montreal has acquired a solid depth
defenceman who after P.K. Subban is the Canadiens’ only other right handed shot
on the back end. He is undersized yet plays a tough gritty style of game and can
be relied on to play a shut down role. Another thing to note with Weaver if you
are a fan of advanced statistics is that he was a positive possession player in
Florida playing against the toughest competition, 5v5 FC% 50.9. Bottom line is
that this gives Montreal options on weather they want to dress Weaver, Murray,
Tinordi, or Beaulieu and the team has additional depth in the event of injuries.
Brian La Rose: Depth is never a bad thing to have and unlike
last year where the Habs picked up a player who clearly was going to be a spare
part, this time they’ve added a defenceman who can be a regular and log some
minutes. Although undersized, he fits the mold of the type of blueliner
that Michel Therrien and company like in that he’s willing to block shots while
also playing surprisingly physical for his size, kind of like Francis Bouillon.
Given the injury concerns to Gorges, adding more depth was required and the
price was certainly cheap enough.
Matt Macaskill: In true Bergevin fashion, he added another
veteran defenseman to give the Canadiens more security on the blueline heading
into the post-season. It will be interesting to see how many games he plays
before the season is done. While he doesn’t have the size that Douglas Murray
does, I believe he would be a more reliable option on the bottom pairing. The
fact that he plays the right side of the ice is also ideal, as it would allow
either Jarred Tinordi or Nathan Beaulieu to return to their regular spot on the
Kevin Meldrum: I really do not understand the need to make this
trade; in my opinion this is a waste of a draft pick just as the Drewiske trade
last year was a waste of another 5th round pick. All we hear is that they are
going to build through the draft; yes it is late round picks, but with their
success in later rounds they might have found some decent prospects. If Weaver
plays and does help out maybe it serves a purpose. We know all too well not to
expect too much come the trade deadline and these are the type of trades we are
Norm Szcyrek: The Mike Weaver acquisition seems like a
reasonable move by Marc Bergevin to improve the Habs for the rest of this
season. Exchanging a 5th round pick for a veteran defenceman, albeit a rental
one, is a safe exchange. Weaver seems like a cross between Josh Gorges and
Francis Bouillon, as he’s a defensive styled defenceman, who at 5’10 and 180
pounds is on the small side for a defender. Like both of these Habs, Weaver is
pretty good at moving the puck out of his own zone without issues, and excels in
penalty killing situations. Mike also led his former team in blocked shots with
93 and was 2nd in hits with 101 which fits into the Habs’ style well. He’s an
upcoming UFA, so the Habs have the luxury of watching him closely to decide if
he’s worth re-signing in the off season or not.