Canucks hang on to Dale Weise, Jordan Schroeder, minor-leaguer Yann Sauve with new deals
VANCOUVER — Vancouver Canuck fourth-liner Dale Weise has a new one-year contract with the NHL team. He'll make $750,000. It was agreed upon Wednesday. He avoided salary arbitration.
He was one of three restricted free agents the Canucks signed Wednesday, the other two being centre Jordan Schroeder and minor-league defenceman Yann Sauve.
Schroeder received a one-year, one-way deal for $600,000 while Sauve, a second-round pick in 2008, received a two-way deal for $708,750 at the NHL level and $65,000 in the minors. Schroeder is expected to compete for a spot on the big club. Sauve is expected to a member of the American League's Utica Comets.
That's the book-keeping stuff. Now for the interesting stuff on the relationship between Weise and new Canuck coach John Tortorella when both were members of the New York Rangers' organization. Did they butt heads? Like, ca-runch!
“Butt heads? I don't know if we butted heads,” responded Weise. “I don't know if 'butted heads' would be the right term. I was a callup with the Rangers and being a callup is a completely different situation than being a guy on the team. We had a couple of conversations where we were very honest with each other and we got some things on the table and we both challenged each other. But, in my opinion, I don't know if I would say we butted heads.”
Tortorella didn't say they butted head either. He called it 'a road of understanding', or something like that. In any case, it appears the two did have the occasional animated conversation.
“I won't lie,” Tortorella said. “Weiser and I have had a road of trying to understand one another. I thought we were beginning to get an understanding. He was improving as a player. He brings a lot of things. I love his willingness. He can play and give you minutes and, I think, you can bounce him around on different lines. So I'm anxious to get back with Dale and see where we go.”
Weise is anxious, too. He said he is looking forward to again playing for Torts, this time as a full-time NHLer and not a player on a callup. He played 10 games with the Rangers in 2010-11 but spent the rest of his time on their minor-league affiliate in Hartford. The Canucks plucked Weise off waivers at the start of the 2011-12 season.
“Torts is extremely hard on players but he's very honest and I respect that,” said Weise, who turns 25 Aug. 5. “I have a lot of respect for him as a hockey mind and as a person. I'm actually looking forward to it. I think he's going to be great for me. He's going to push me to be a better player and I really think that's going to work for me.”
Weise then gave a further scouting report on Tortorella.
“He's a competitor and I think that's the biggest thing I can appreciate about him,” said Weise. “He hates to lose and openly voices that to people. You have to appreciate a coach that's going to lay it on the line and gets so emotional. I think you have to respect it because that's a guy who wants it. If you have a guy that’s not as into it, I think you start to worry about his passion a little bit. There is no lack of passion with John.”
As far as his own new deal, Weise was pleased to avoid the arbitrator. His hearing was scheduled for July 31.
“I don't think we were in jeopardy of going to arbitration," he explained. "I think that was an absolute last resort and I don't think either side was close to getting there. I think there are bigger and better things ahead for me and the one-year deal gives me that opportunity.”
Schroeder, meanwhile, is coming off major shoulder surgery May 21 but says he expects to be ready for the start of training camp Sept. 11.
“That's my goal, I'm definitely ahead of schedule and feeling really good,” he said. “As for the contract, I'm very happy to be signed back. Anytime you can get a one-way deal, you're pretty happy. It’s an honour to be back with such a great team.”
The 22-year-old first-round pick from 2009 split last season between the Canucks and AHL Chicago Wolves. He scored three times in 31 games with the big club.
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