BOSTON – Dale Weise sounded like a guy who was ready to suit up for the Blackhawks the moment they traded for him.
Unfortunately visa issues kept him from doing that, and the nearly week long wait to join his new team wasn’t fun. Once he finally got in on Thursday, however, all that was forgotten.
“I’m just happy to jump into a game right now,” Weise said. “You want to come in and make a good impression. I’m not trying to do anything special. This team’s at the top of the league for a reason and I’m just trying to come in and do what I can to help this team win.”
Weise is one of two forwards the Blackhawks acquired to help bolster their roster depth. While Weise started on the fourth line on Thursday, he ended up on the third line with Teuvo Teravainen and Tomas Fleischmann, who also came here through the trade with the Montreal Canadiens. One figures he’ll get an extended look with that group, considering his familiarity with Fleischmann in Montreal.
“He’s just such a smart player. He’s got really underrated skill. I’m more of a shooter, he’s more of a passer, so it’s a good combination,” Weise said of Fleischmann, who got two games in before Weise got here. “Obviously he got here quicker than I did, so I had a couple questions. We just briefly talked about it. He just said get excited: this is a fun team to play on. They play fast. I think that’s perfect for my style.”
Weise left a tempestuous situation in Montreal. All started well for the Canadiens this season – they got off to a 9-0-0 record – but then things started going wrong. Carey Price got hurt and the Canadiens began to struggle, and they never got themselves out of the tailspin. Weise figured he would be dealt at the deadline, but hearing the trade talk wasn’t easy.
“I’ve never been in a situation like that before where my contract was expiring and there was trade rumors. I’d never really been a part of that. That was different for me,” Weise said. “The team was struggling. It was frustrating. I kind of saw it coming toward the end, so I kind of got prepared for that and I got traded to Chicago and there’s no other place I’d rather go.”
It took a little time for Weise to get here but he still has more than enough regular-season games to adjust. The Blackhawks need some players to bring more to their third and fourth lines. Weise is hoping to provide that.
“This is the best team in the league right now,” Weise said. “I’m just excited to see what I can bring.”