Monday, 3 February 2014

Canadiens trade Raphaël Diaz to Vancouver Canucks for Dale Weise.

The Montréal Canadiens have sent soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Raphaël Diaz to the Vancouver Canucks in return for 25-year-old right winger Dale Weise.  In doing so, the Canadiens get an asset back in return for a player who had played his way off the roster and was bound to leave the team without compensation on July 1st.

Indeed, Mr. Diaz never developed into a reliable puck-carrier and point-producer.  The potential was there since he seemed a heady player and slick skater, and had shown flashes in his rookie season when on the power play, or sometimes by jumping into the play and joining the forwards on odd-man rushes.  The potential never seemed to materialize though, and Mr. Diaz was never able to offset his struggles when dealing with rougher teams and physical play with a decent return as the second-wave powerplay quarterback.  There's no telling how much the concussions he suffered may have derailed his progress.  In recent games he had been a healthy scratch in favour of Nathan Beaulieu, who seemed to grow into the role and make him expendable.

As for the trade itself, it doesn't provide a great return overall.  I would have preferred a younger player or prospect or draft pick, but there's no way the Canucks are letting any of their youngsters go, or draft picks, their system is much depleted after years of acquiring rentals at the deadline and bad drafting.

Dale Weise is like a half of a Travis Moen, we shouldn't expect too much from him.  He has decent size and a big heart, but little vision or dexterity.  He'll chip in some hits and fights, but few points.  He barely hung on to a roster spot with the 'Nucks, and their third and fourth lines are arid wastelands devoid of talent.  Best-case scenario is that he fits in better in our roster, but that's a remote chance, since the Canucks have the same profile we do (low-scoring, undersized).

It is a good trade for Raphaël though, since Chris Tanev and Kevin Bieksa got injured, they had six lefties playing on defence, save for instances when Yannick would draw in, and that has been disastrous, he's really struggled except maybe when he's on the powerplay.  Raphaël gets another chance on another team to show what he can do, and hopefully become the player he seemed to be when he first arrived from Switzerland.

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