You’ve been waiting for the Flyers to make a trade, and the wheels could very well be in motion. It would appear that Dale Weise’s time in town is about to come to an end.
Head coach Scott Gordon told the assembled media today that Weise will not be traveling with the team to Montreal. A team source confirmed to Crossing Broad that Weise – who has been a healthy scratch in consecutive games since appearing on the Snow the Goalie podcast – has been told to stay behind and await news of a trade.
The source’s information appears to confirm the contents of a tweet from Wednesday night from Rogers Sportsnet writer/reporter Eric Engels:
As you know, Dale Weise cleared waivers earlier today. However, he will not be sent to the AHL. At least not yet. Expectation is he will be traded.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 17, 2019
While some might think it’s an insignificant move, there could very well be one of many things at play. A best-case scenario for Flyers fans is that Weise – who cleared waivers on Wednesday – is part of a much bigger trade that GM Chuck Fletcher is working on.
The other options are less interesting, though potentially intriguing. You might be wondering why a team would trade for a guy who’s already cleared waivers rather than claim him outright. That could be due to the financial burden a team could place on the Flyers as part of the deal, rather than take the cap hit alone. It could also have something to do with the contract limit the NHL puts on teams: 50 in a season. By trading for Weise, a team could try to pawn off a malcontent or bad contract to the Flyers without it counting against their 50. In either case, one would assume the Flyers would be hesitant to take on a larger cap hit, despite the excess of $30 million they’re set to enter the off-season with.
In a sense, this is a no-win situation for the Flyers. Chuck Fletcher had likely hoped that another NHL team would have claimed Weise outright, but now the negotiating leverage would appear to be in the court of a trade partner.
There is a way that Fletcher could spin this into a positive for the Flyers: since Weise cleared waivers, the acquiring team could stash him in the AHL until the NHL postseason, at which point the salary cap disappears. A team could certainly do worse than having a guy like Dale Weise available as a veteran forward who’s shown some ability to score at the NHL level.
There are a few things that we know about Dale Weise. The 59 points in 152 games with Montreal impressed former Flyers GM Ron Hextall enough to hand out a 4 year, $9.4 million deal in 2016. Though Weise battled some dark times earlier this season, he showed real resiliency and carved out a role in Dave Hakstol’s lineup. As he pointed out in the interview Anthony SanFilippo and I did with him last weekend, his role under interim head coach Scott Gordon had diminished, but he believed he was still playing and preparing at a high level. There’s no shortage of confidence on his part and that – along with positive words from a young player like Nolan Patrick who called Weise “the best teammate [he’s] ever had” – could bode well for his chances of landing with another team prior to the February 25th trade deadline.
Flyers writer Anthony SanFilippo contributed to this story.
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