Montreal Canadiens Acquire Mike Weaver

By
Updated: March 4, 2014
Mike Weaver

The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenceman Mike Weaver from the Florida Panthers in a pre-nhl trade deadline move.  In return the Panthers will be getting a fifth round pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 35-year-old Weaver has six points (all assists) in 55 games for the Panthers this year.  He fills a hole on the Montreal blueline in that he is a right-hand shooting defenceman.  Currently P.K. Subban is the only Habs defenceman with a right handed shot.

Weaver has strong possession numbers, according to the advanced stats. He has a CorsiQOC of 0.895 meaning he plays the toughest minutes of all defencemen on the Panthers at even-strength, while playing 15:30 per game of five-on-five play. In other words, the Panthers have used Weaver as their shut-down defenceman this season.  Despite this his Relative Corsi is only -1.9 which would be fourth amongst regulars in Montreal.

What makes that Corsi even more impressive is that he is amongst Florida’s best shot blockers, blocking 414 shots this season.  With shot blocks out of the equation, his Fenwick numbers are even better as he is at +0.3.

In addition, Weaver has the lowest offensive zone start percentage on the Panthers at 44.8% but an offensive zone finish percentage of 50.5% (tied first on the team, players with more than 10 games played).  This increase is also best amongst Panthers defenders.

In other words, the advanced stats show that Weaver is playing difficult minutes, on a poor team, and he has shown strong defensive play, and given the zone starts and quality of competition has been the Panthers most reliable defensive defenceman.

Going further, weaver is fourth on the Panthers in icetime averaging 18:47 per game.  He is first on the team in penalty kill usage, averaging just under three minutes per game.

Some might look and say that the Panthers have the NHL’s worst penalty killing percentage this year.  That is true, but going deeper, we can see that Weaver isn’t the problem on the Panthers Penalty Kill as his +7.2 RelCorsiPK is the highest on the team.  To put it in perspective Erik Gudbranson is at +5.4, and no other Panthers defender is a positive in this stat.  The tandem of Weaver/Gudbranson is the only thing working on the Panthers penalty kill this season as far as defence are concerned.

From an eyeball scouting standpoint Weaver has decent mobility, and plays bigger and more physical than his size (listed at 5’10″) would indicate.  He works hard a long the wall and is decent in puck battles.  The stay-at-home defender should add depth on the Montreal blueline.

Weaver is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and is a $1.1 million cap hit this season.

Weaver is a 12-year NHL veteran who has played for the Panthers, Atlanta Thrashers, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, and Vancouver Canucks.  In 585 career games, Weaver has seven goals and 79 assists for 86 career points.

 

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