dale weise

Flyers' Dale Weise staying home, waiting for a trade

Flyers' Dale Weise staying home, waiting for a trade

VOORHEES, N.J. — Dale Weise hasn’t gone to general manager Chuck Fletcher to ask for a trade, but with his skates hanging from his stall at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, it appears that Weise will be the next shoe to drop in Fletcher’s plan to reshape the roster.

Weise’s absence from Friday’s practice continued a bizarre situation in which the winger is technically on the team and the active roster, but nowhere to be found where it matters most. 

On Friday, it was confirmed that Weise has been asked to stay at home and wait for a trade to materialize. How and when that happens will be an interesting next development. Weise has cleared waivers twice — once before the season opener in Vegas, and again on Wednesday — meaning there’s not one team willing to take on his contract (signed through next season at $2.35 million).

In all likelihood, the Flyers would have to pick up a portion of that salary to help facilitate a deal, or offer a sweetener in the form of a draft pick to get a team to take Weise off the Flyers' hands.

How did it get to this point?

For one, Weise’s failure to understand his role. Former general manager Ron Hextall signed Weise on July 1, 2016, as an energy forward to bring a physical element while providing scoring depth in a bottom-six role. He came to Philadelphia following a season in which he scored 14 goals in 56 games with Montreal, but could never fit in with the Blackhawks with one assist in 15 regular-season games after he was dealt before the deadline.

That alone should have been a red flag for Hextall.

In late November, under former coach Dave Hakstol, Weise was under the impression he had a bigger role, working his way onto the second line alongside Nolan Patrick and Jakub Voracek. In early December, Weise was playing some of his best hockey as a Flyer, scoring three goals over a five-game stretch.

That all changed when Scott Gordon replaced Hakstol. Weise was relegated to a fourth-line checking role, which, let’s just say, he refused to embrace. In recent games at Washington and last Saturday in New Jersey, Weise played a combined 20:38 with a whole lot of nothing — no shots, no hits, no blocks and, quite frankly, no interest.

To make matters worse was Patrick’s disturbing admission: “He was really good at helping me stay positive through the slump and when everything wasn't going well. He's by far the best teammate I've ever had." 

The best teammate he’s ever had?

If Weise was this incredible teammate, then he would have spent the past two seasons leading by example on the ice as the hardest-working player on the team, and not tell a teammate all the cushy things he wants to hear when things aren’t going so well.  

As the saying goes, “Misery loves company.”

Even the media loved talking to Weise. He often would say the things that needed to be said following an embarrassing loss. But if Weise was exactly what the Flyers needed when he signed a four-year, $9.4 million contract, then he wouldn’t be at home waiting for a phone call.

“Obviously, I’ve talked to him,” Patrick said. “I know what the situation is. Things happen quick in pro sports. Obviously, it’s a tough one to swallow. He’s a good body like that. I just hope he gets to go to another team and gets a shot there.” 

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What Chuck Fletcher could be looking for by evaluating his first few trades

What Chuck Fletcher could be looking for by evaluating his first few trades

VOORHEES, N.J. — Chuck Fletcher has made two deals as Flyers general manager and neither one has budged the needle in terms of impact on the current roster.

But there are signs that indicate what the new Flyers GM could be thinking and evaluating moving forward.

Thursday night, Fletcher essentially pulled off a minor-league swap, dealing Taylor Leier to the Buffalo Sabres' organization in exchange for Justin Bailey, who is a little younger but considerably bigger. Bailey is listed at 6-foot-4, 214 pounds, or five inches and 34 pounds heavier than Leier.

Fletcher seized the opportunity to strike while Leier’s value was high. The former Flyer had scored seven points with the Phantoms over his past six games, and while Leier may have displayed some offensive potential in the AHL, that was never going to be his role with the Flyers.

“I don’t think his offense was able to translate to the NHL,” Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon said Friday of Leier. “Ultimately, if you’re not filling a role like killing penalties and getting more minutes, it gets hard to find a niche.”

Instead, the Flyers received a player with size coupled with good skating ability and a little bit of grit that may come in handy on the Flyers' checking line. On Friday, Bailey was assigned to Lehigh Valley, but this trade was more of a change of scenery. Last season with the Flyers, Leier displayed a spark and at times a burst of energy, but nothing that he was able to sustain.

Same can be said for Bailey, who appeared in 52 games during his time with the Sabres but never gained traction and established himself as a checking-line forward.       

But look at the makeup of Fletcher’s Minnesota team and you can see that the Flyers' GM has a penchant for size, especially up front. Coming into this season, the Wild were the third-tallest team in the NHL with an average height of 73.7 inches and the fourth heaviest at 205.2 pounds. The Flyers are slightly on the lighter side at 198 pounds, which ranked in the bottom half of the league.

Against the Flyers this past Monday, the Wild had six forwards listed at 6-foot-2 or taller, including 2015 second-round pick Jordan Greenway at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds. If you don’t think Minnesota tried to impose its will down in the trenches, here’s what Carter Hart had to say afterward.

I think they were trying to shovel pucks into the net and shovel me into the net as well. I think that’s kind of the style they play and I think that was our pre-scout as well.

You have to think Fletcher would like to see some of that from his current team, especially from his bottom-six forwards.

In trading Jordan Weal a week earlier to Arizona for a sixth-round pick and ECHL-level defenseman Jacob Graves, Fletcher essentially received a minimal return for an undersized center who had become a perimeter player unwilling to work down in the trenches, as well as a forward in the final year of his contract who Fletcher wasn’t willing to re-sign. 

If there’s an aspect that should bother Fletcher from what he’s seen in his first six weeks on the job, it’s been a lack of toughness, grit and at times physicality from the current Flyers team, which is the main reason Dale Weise was placed on waivers (see story).

Moving forward, it may also be a reason why Fletcher is on the fence regarding Wayne Simmonds. Trading Simmonds would only deplete the Flyers even further in these much-needed areas, unless they acquire a similar style of player.

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Flyers vs. Bruins: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Bruins: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Updated: 3:12 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — Interestingly, the Flyers are one of three NHL teams, along with the Lightning and Golden Knights, that have never swept a season series against the Bruins.

And it’s not going to happen this season either ... 50 years and counting.

The Flyers (17-23-6, 40 points) will try to string together back-to-back wins as they host the Bruins (26-15-5, 57 points) Wednesday in their only matchup at the Wells Fargo Center this season.

Let's take a look at tonight's essentials:

• When: 7:30 p.m. ET
• Where: Wells Fargo Center
• Broadcast: NBCSN
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com

• The Flyers are hoping they didn’t empty the tank against the Wild. 

Monday’s seven-goal outburst against Minnesota matched a season high in scoring after the Flyers tallied seven goals against the Senators on Oct. 10. In the Flyers' next game, they were shut out, 1-0, by the Golden Knights.   

• Can Nolan Patrick build upon his most impressive game of the season? Patrick is coming off a career-best four-point game with two goals and two assists. Interim head coach Scott Gordon said Patrick is able to hit that next level when he finds his “fifth gear.”

It comes a lot from moving my feet and holding onto pucks. It’s something I’ve been working on during practice every day and kind of make it a habit. I have fun playing every night. It’s nice to get out of a slump like that, but it doesn’t change anything for me.

• Flyers captain Claude Giroux is one assist shy of 500 for his career. Giroux would join Bobby Clarke (852) as the only other player in franchise history to amass 500 career assists. Earlier this season, Giroux passed Bill Barber and Brian Propp for second place on the Flyers' career assist leaders.

• Flyers forward Dale Weise cleared waivers Wednesday afternoon and will remain on the team's roster for now as no call-ups are planned at this point.

• May we see a penalty-filled game? The Flyers and Bruins are two of the most penalized teams in the league, ranking second and third respectively, in penalty minutes per game. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will see a power-play filled contest. Boston ranks near the bottom (25th) in times it has played shorthanded this season.

The Flyers will face Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak for the second time this season. Halak shut out the Flyers back on Oct. 25 when he stopped all 26 shots in a 3-0 Bruins victory at TD Garden.

B’s defenseman Zdeno Chara scored two of his three goals this season in that previous game against the Flyers. Boston’s totem pole of a defenseman missed 19 games this season with a lower-body injury.  

Projected lineup

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Nolan Patrick-Wayne Simmonds
Jori Lehtera-Phil Varone-Michael Raffl

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Andrew MacDonald-Robert Hagg
Shayne Gostisbehere-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Carter Hart
Mike McKenna

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