There’s no “offseason” in Montreal — not when your team is the Montreal Canadiens. Head coach Michel Therrien‘s contract extension was confirmed a few days ago, and today the news was announced that forward Dale Weise has been signed to a two-year, $2 million contract extension. Habs fans applaud this choice and have been hoping this would happen.
Weise was acquired mid-season in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for Raphael Diaz. The Canadiens needed another forward and traded a defenseman for Weise. He was immediately effective, scoring three goals and an assist in the last 17 games of the season with the Habs, but he showed his mettle in playoffs.
In Game 1 of the first round against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Weise scored the overtime game-winning goal, starting what would be a sweep of the series for Montreal. He continued to perform in playoffs, scoring three goals and four assists until his concussion in Game 5 against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Weise had always wanted to play for Montreal. Growing up in Manitoba, his home was decorated in Habs colors. His dream was to play hockey for the Canadiens. And when he was interviewed after being traded to the team, he called it a “dream come true” for him and for his parents (whose home is still decked out in the bleu-blanc-rouge). Only now, he said, his parents can cheer for the Habs without guilt that their son is playing for another team, as they had when he played for Vancouver.
He showed that he was up for the challenge of playing with Montreal, not only in playoffs, but with this storied franchise for which he’d always imagined playing. His performance in regular and postseason proved that he was one of the players to watch. He is a grinder who is unafraid to finish checks and a strong, physical player.
It isn’t always about the goals, and Weise may never break any records on that front. But he is a strong presence on the team, became an instant fan favorite and, with this contract extension, clearly has the confidence of the management and coaching staff.
All in all, this was welcome news and a great move by general manager Marc Bergevin, who is not wasting much time in these weeks leading up to the draft. Fans, however, are still holding onto hope that the heavy hitters (P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov, to be more specific) will soon be inked to contracts and that the waiting won’t last too much longer.
After all, when you’re a fan of the Canadiens, patience isn’t always a strong suit, and no news isn’t always good news.