The Montreal Canadiens finally relieved Raphael Diaz from his spot in the pressbox, but unfortunately it wasn’t to get him back in a Canadiens uniform. It was to trade him to the Vancouver Canucks for Dale Weise.
Weise is listed as a right wing but really is a tough guy who the Vancouver Canucks use to fight. He’s the kind of guy the Canadiens already have in George Parros. Which makes this move downright indefensible.
Raphael Diaz was the Canadiens third or fourth best defencemen by almost any standard. But, because of Michel Therrien’s infatuation with Douglas Murray, he hasn’t been playing which made his value plummet and Marc Bergevin needed to get whatever he could for him.
It is why Michel Therrien needs to be fired. Immediately. I can’t wait for the first game that the Canadiens play Wiese and Parros on the same line. Marc Bergevin took a very significant asset in Diaz and turned him into a fringe NHL player who, if fighting were banned, might not even be in professional hockey.
He was given the Yannick Weber treatment (ironically, also in Vancouver) and Diaz is actually a much better player than Weber. Only the Canadiens refused to let him show it – instead playing Murray and Francis Bouillon before, mercifully, the team recalled Nathan Beaulieu.
Weise has been an even or better possession player in six of his last 10 games for the Canucks, and one of those games was the fight fest in the opening minutes. He also has two assists over those 10 games.
On the season, he has three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 44 games. On the season in close/tied 5 on 5 situations, he’s a 45.4 per cent Corsi player. Which makes him better than average on this Canadiens team. He also once had a 50 point season in the American Hockey League.
This move on the surface might not get many people upset. However, the issue is this. It isn’t simply Beaulieu replacing Diaz. It’s that Beaulieu should have replaced Murray and now the only hope for that to happen is Davis Drewiske.
This is a much worse version of signing Murray. This gives up a very useful player who could have improved this team if he weren’t being benched by a coach with no concept of what it takes to win in the NHL.
Unfortunately, this is Bergevin doubling down on a flawed strategy. This team wins when it uses it’s speed, yet he insists to keep getting bigger. Like Arpon Basu said on Twitter – they are getting bigger to battle the Boston Bruins and compare favorably to them. Even though they have beaten them five straight times.
The only thing worse than not playing to your strengths is over-compensating for your perceived weaknesses. I’ll just sit here and watch the losses keep piling up.