Quiet all morning, the Vancouver Canucks have finally arrived at the free agent frenzy, and they’ve announced their presence in style. With their first (and, to date, best) signing of the day, the Canucks have acquired defenceman Yannick Weber.
Like the other, better Weber, Yannick is a right-handed defenceman. Unlike the other, better Weber, uh, everything else.
At 5’11″, 200 lbs., Weber’s on the small side, more inclined to pitching in offensively than crushing opposition forwards. But what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in orientation. The Canucks’ blueline and powerplay last season were woefully lacking in right-siders. Once Chris Tanev is re-signed, the Canucks will likely be deploying three in their top six.
“I fit in well with this team,” Weber told Ren Lavoie of RDS. No doubt he was talking about that.
The Canucks are likely hoping that the fit goes further, however, as Weber never really got comfortable with Montreal. Drafted 73rd overall by the Canadiens in 2007, Weber was an AHL all-star, but never managed to play more than 60 games in a season with the big club, and thus never managed to climb the depth chart. When he played, he was reasonably effective, with 32 points in 117 NHL games.
If he can find his game with the Canucks, he could be a very good depth pickup. If not, he can be sent down to the AHL without his contract impacting the salary cap. His salary of just $650,000 is nice and cheap and below the threshold of the “Wade Redden rule” that stipulates teams cannot bury salary in the minors.
There’s one other thing to like about Weber: in the 2011 playoffs, he scored on Tim Thomas twice. You’ll recall that was difficult to do.Tags: Free Agent Fizzle, Yannick Weber