MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens shored up their back end by acquiring veteran defenceman Mike Weaver from the Florida Panthers for a fifth-round pick in the 2015 draft.
Weaver, 35, has six assists in 55 games this season but is more known for his defensive prowess. In the past, Weaver has been considered something of a specialist against Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
“If I stay out of the paper, I’m doing my job,” he said jokingly, as quoted by the Canadiens’ official website. “I’m not a guy who’s going to score a lot of points but I do the little things like block shots and penalty killing is my specialty. I’d rather block a shot than score a goal so I guess you could say I’m a goalie’s best friend back there.”
As the Panthers make moves for next season and beyond, general manager Dale Tallon was more than willing to give Weaver a shot to go to the Canadiens.
“We’re just looking to the future. Montreal was in need of a solid defensive defenceman, and we felt that it was a good thing for Mike Weaver to get into the playoff picture and have a good opportunity to win with Montreal,” Tallon said on a conference call Tuesday night. “He’s a great warrior, played his rear end off for us every night, blocked, shots, killed penalties, so I wish him well.”
Weaver has played in 585 career NHL games with the Panthers, Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues. This is the first time he has been traded.
It’s the second year in a row the Habs went for defensive depth at the blue-line. They traded a fifth-rounder last year to the Kings for Davis Drewiskie, who played nine games for Montreal to finish out the 2013 season.
Weaver is in the final season of a US$2.2-million, two-year deal. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent July 1.