2015-16 Montreal Canadiens Season Review: Dale Weise provided good value for the Habs
Like the Habs, Weise's season had two parts: record breaking and frustrating.
Weise's season went much like the Canadiens'. It started off almost too good to be true, as he set a new career high goal total by the end of December, playing on one of the hottest (and luckiest) lines on the best team in the NHL.
Image credit: Corsica
The Tomas Fleischmann, David Desharnais, Dale Weise trio was absolute dynamite, and by mid-November, they'd combined for 36 points in 18 games, and were scoring on a staggering 53.7% of their shots. Weise himself had eight goals and three assists, with a shooting percentage of 18.6, and a PDO of 105.3 in all situations.
Of course, all good things come to an end – especially lucky scoring streaks, and Weise's numbers did eventually come down to earth.From the middle of November to the trade deadline, he had four goals and six assists, and was down to a wretched 6.2 shooting percentage.
Possession wise, Weise's own numbers weren't the strongest to start the season off (as you can see below), over the course of their time together, the Desharnais line actually had an excellent 54.5 CF%.
Image credit: Corsica
Any time the line was in their own end, it was an adventure, but they still scored and shot more than they were scored or shot against, and definitely proved the adage "good offence is the best defence" to be true.
Although Weise's goal production took a sharp nosedive after Brendan Gallagher's injury caused Therrien to do some line juggling, and luck finally caught up with him, he picked up most of his assists in the second half of the season. Moreover, while his point production and luck slowed down, his possession numbers never did.
So overall, it was his best season, as well as being among his most fortunate.
The Canadiens couldn't have gotten for a more ideal season out of Weise if they had tried. When the team was winning, Weise was white hot, and his production went cold when the rest of the team did.
He heated up just in time for them to ship him (and his expiring contract) to Chicago, along with his linemate Tomas Fleischmann, for Phillip Danault and the Blackhawks' 2018 second round pick. It was the perfect time to trade the forward in terms of value, as his three year rolling CF% average indicates.
It seemed like Weise going to be rewarded for his play by being sent to a Cup contender, instead of having to play the remaining games on a team that was free falling in the standings. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out.
In fifteen games with Chicago, Weise had only a goal and an assist, and spent much of his time as a healthy scratch in the regular season. He picked up one goal in four playoff games, where his most frequent linemates were Fleischmann and Teuvo Teravainen.
In theory, that line should have been able to recreate at least some of the spark that had the Fleischmann-Desharnais-Weise line roaring through the NHL early in the year, but for whatever reason, it seems that the magic only existed in Montreal.
Which brings us to our last point. Should the Habs re-sign him? The answer is "it depends". If you want a really excellent breakdown of all the reasons, you can find them in Jared's article on the subject.
It basically boils down to: a) is he willing to take the same amount of money he did before, and b) is Therrien's usage of him going to be at the expense of other, significantly better players?
If the answer is yes to the first, and no to the second, Weise would likely be a good player to have.
However, on a team that already has too many bottom six players, and a coach who is far too fond of playing them over more skilled players, perhaps it would be best to say thank you for two years of excitement, exasperation, and entertainment, and close the chapter on the Dutch Gretzky.
Grade Weise's season