STATS: 17 Games | 1 G-6 A = 7 P | 8 PIM | +9 | 42.9% Corsi | 2.0 Point Shares
PLAYOFFS: 17 games | 1 G-3 A = 4 P | 14 PIM | +8 | 40.3% Corsi
STORY: Mike Weaver was brought in as a right-handed defenceman who would provide more depth so that the Canadiens weren’t pushed into having Nathan Beaulieu or Jarred Tinordi play in the stretch run while Josh Gorges was injured.
He ended up being much more. He solidified the penalty kill and the third pairing all the way through the rest of the season and the playoffs. The confidence instilled in him by Michel Therrien was significant: Very rarely was he a healthy scratch since his acquisition (only twice, and one was the day he was acquired).
Let’s put it this way. Weaver was like a shorter version of Hal Gill. He was a shot-blocking machine and really did a great job of positioning. He’s not the biggest guy, or the fastest, but he was rarely caught in the wrong place.
As a third pairing guy, you could do a lot worse and compared to Douglas Murray and Francis Bouillon, Weaver was a god send. Even compared to Alexei Emelin, he often was better. His Corsi wasn’t great, but he blocked a lot of those shots and Corsi counts all shots directed towards the net. When he was in his zone, he was very rarely scored on. That’s the key.
Weaver was very good and much better than anyone thought he would be after toiling in Florida. He was much better than anyone traded for a fifth round pick. And even more important, the team seemed to like him. He was a key member of the group and he seemed to really like his time in the city where the fans cared about the team.
FUTURE: Weaver is currently an unrestricted free-agent on July 1. The Canadiens want to keep him, but you have to wonder if a team will give him more long-term security and money for his performance in the playoffs.
He is a good stop gap until Tinordi and Beaulieu are ready, but because they are in the organization you don’t want to give him too long of a contract where he’s paid like a top-four guy instead of a bottom pair guy who might very well end up as the No. 7 guy by the end of the season.
Weaver wants to be back, presumably. The Canadiens want him back. But they might have different opinions on his value – or, more importantly, another team might.