Zac Dalpe (l) and Dale Weise play table hockey as the Vancouver Canucks attend the Sports Celebrities Festival at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC., November 12, 2013. This year's event was held in support of the Canucks for Kids Fund and Special Olympics BC.
Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks placed extra defenceman Yannick Weber on waivers Monday, which won't help their scoring woes but will create a roster spot for the return of fourth-liner Dale Weise.
Weber, 25, is on a one-year, one-way contract for $650,000. If he clears, the Canucks intend to assign him to their American League farm team, the Utica Comets.
“I just don't think Yannick earned a spot,” said Canuck head coach John Tortorella, explaining the move Monday following practice. “That's why he's not with us right now. He didn't play well enough to be in our 20. I hope it works out for him.”
Weber appeared in 10 of the Canucks' 22 games, most of those as a fill-in fourth line right winger due to injuries. He averaged just 5:37 of ice time, had no points and was a minus-2. By dispatching Weber, it leaves the Canucks with 14 forwards and seven defencemen. Rarely used Andrew Alberts is the seventh. Alberts has appeared in just three games but survived the axe. So did forwards Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh. Dalpe was a healthy scratch in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars while Welsh played only 18 seconds.
"The decision was made that we were going to move one of our defencemen down rather than a forward,” said Canuck assistant GM Laurence Gilman. “At this point, the coaching staff felt, based on the mix of players we have on our defence, Andrew Alberts was going to be a better fit than Yannick. Assuming Yannick clears, he'll be assigned to Utica.”
Weise, meanwhile, declared himself fit and ready to go for Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers. He suffered a sprained knee Oct. 24 in New Jersey when he collided with Devils defenceman Andy Greene along the right wing boards. He has missed 10 games.
“It was kind of a stupid play by me,” Weise said, recalling the incident. “I was kind of going wide and I opened up my leg. Greene just kind of clipped my leg and that was it. I knew something was wrong right away. ”
At practice Monday, Weise was one of five skaters wearing fourth-line burgundy jerseys but only three will dress against the Panthers. The others were Dalpe, Welsh, Tom Sestito and David Booth, the latter possibly heading for another benching after Sunday's all-too quiet performance (no shots, no hits in 14:23 of ice time).
“If I were to make a guess, I'd say I'm playing,” Weise commented. “But I don't know. I'm anxious to get back in there. I felt good in the middle of last week and then (the knee) kind of got a little stiff on me. I waited a couple of extra days and I think that was a smart decision because I feel good now.
“We had a good, hard skate today with lots of twisting and turning and some banging at the end just to make sure and it felt great. I'm ready to go.”
Tortorella wouldn't discuss Tuesday's lineup.
FARM FAMINE: The Comets are off to a wretched start in their inaugural AHL season, sitting last overall in the league with a 2-10-1-1 mark. They lost their first 10 games and have yet to win at home in eight dates.
“Well, we obviously would like to see the team winning more games than they have currently won but we are also interested in the process,” said Gilman. “The team has played well but it has been challenged by both moves that have impacted the roster as well as injury and some performance. I don't think they have received great goaltending. Joacim Eriksson and Joe Cannata both have struggled at times and we're challenged down the middle.”
In the performance department, 2011 first-round pick Nicklas Jensen has yet to score a goal in eight games and has just two assists. He missed the beginning of the AHL season with a shoulder injury suffered while playing for the Canucks in the NHL pre-season.
“Nicklas had a long period of inactivity that certainly impacted his performance at some level,” continued Gilman. “We have also been challenged down the middle for a puck distributor. Jeremy Welsh has been up here and we've had injuries to Pascal Pelletier and Alex Friesen. It's really impacted not just Nicklas Jensen but most of our other forwards as well.
“I think Nicklas has played reasonably well at times but there is certainly more that he can do to contribute.”
QUOTABLE: “I think it's important for the game. If you had asked me that 10 years ago, you wouldn't get a sniff coming in our locker room. But I think it's really important for people to see some of those things that go on behind the scenes. I think this type of stuff will be really good.” – John Tortorella on the Canucks allowing cameras to follow the Sedin twins around for a seven-part TV series called NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other, to be aired on CBC and NBCSN.
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