Canadiens’ Weise on July return: ‘I haven’t heard any of this stuff’

Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise is out of the loop and he doesn’t mind saying so.

With reports swirling about a potential NHL return in July, Weise said the concept is news to him.

“To be honest, from a player’s perspective, I haven’t heard any of this stuff,” Weise said on Sportsnet 650’s Reach Deep show Friday. “You’ve gotta be real cautious with what you’re hearing.

“Obviously, when you look at playing into the summer, we already gave up our last paycheque. You have to see — we’d have to go through a vote. Players would have to agree to it.”

Weise echoed (and gave credit to) the comments made by teammate Brendan Gallagher on Thursday, in that the NHLPA would have to be involved before anything was set in motion.

The NHL’s stoppage spawned from a necessity to practice social distancing and combat the spread of COVID-19. But the longer the league stays dormant, the more difficult it would be to justify resuming the 2019-20 season.

“Like, the guys in the playoffs obviously want to get in and play,” Weise said. “But for the guys on the outside, you’re gonna cut your training in half in the summer, you’re gonna come back, you’re not in real good shape, you’re gonna risk injury in training camp to come play 11 games when we know we’re not getting in the playoffs?”

Weise, a 10-year NHL vet with 23 games played for Montreal this year, didn’t specifically reference the Canadiens here but he might as well have. Montreal is 12th in points and points percentage in the Eastern Conference, with practically no chance at the post-season.

He is also cognizant of the factors at play for free-agents-to-be, such as himself. How might potential circumstances differ amid a pandemic?

“It puts me in a weird spot, for sure,” the 31-year-old said. “I’ve looked at other options, maybe going to Europe next year. But does this disrupt that? How long does the season go? (When) does the season over there start? It’s thrown a lot of things for a loop.”

Weise misses hockey like the rest of us. He wants it to return, but only if the appropriate precautions are taken.

“I think we need to have playoffs and award a Stanley Cup,” he said. “I agree with that. But I think it really has a lot of positives and negatives.”

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