No surprise here but Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning has confirmed on Friday morning that they have placed 27-year-old Yannick Weber, who is on a contract at an AAV of $1.5 million, on waivers. After the Canucks waived Chris Higgins and Brandon Prust who both cleared without issue, it seems likely Weber will do the same, however his desirable contract term and worth could be a low-risk experiment for a team looking for defensive offense.
The move comes amidst a scoring slump for Vancouver themselves, one that Weber could not help with. After a 21-point (including a team defense leading 11 goals) campaign in 2014-15 that earned him a significant raise Weber has mustered up just five assists in 35 appearances this season. With each passing game the Canucks chances at a playoff birth dwindle in the shadows of their inability to close out in overtime.
Smell that? It’s the rotting of the Canucks record due to an shocking number of overtime losses…and loss of vital points. They’ve lost twelve games in overtime. The closest second? Toronto and Minnesota have each lost nine overtime games. But more than just the number of overtime losses is the Canucks overtime record of 7-10. That means the team has lost out on 20 points in the standings. Even if that record’s numerals were switched and the team had gone 10-7 their place in the standings would be significantly different. They’d be six points further which would have them firmly competing for a playoff spot. Instead they’re keeping company in the league’s cellar.
— Rob Leth (@RobLeth) February 3, 2016
So Benning has taken a different approach to things: if the team isn’t going to compete than he’s going to send a message to his veterans and that message is compete or enjoy your time in Upstate New York. That sounds harsh but it’s not like he didn’t try to get something for those players. He admitted that the team attempted to move both Higgins and Prust before they were put on waivers and a deal just couldn’t be agreed upon. It’s surprising that Weber didn’t attract attention but his struggling stats this year most likely played a role in that.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) February 5, 2016
Canucks Waived Weber To Make Room For Hamhuis…Maybe
32-year-old Canucks leader Dan Hamhuis is set to return to the lineup on Saturday evening against the Calgary Flames for the first time since breaking multiple bones in his jaw and face after taking a puck earlier in the season. His return from the Injured Reserve prompted the Canucks to waive Yannick Weber. But Weber’s waiving was inevitable regardless. Higgins was a struggling veteran – waived. Prust was a struggling veteran – waived. Weber… not quite the same type of veteran player but he struggled in his own end this year and it impacted his ability to produce, which is what he was getting paid for anyways… so he was waived. As the deadline approaches the three of them may end up finding new homes with teams that believe they would add veteran depth for a playoff run.
Unfortunately everyone in the league played it right except for the Canucks. Now that those three players have cleared waivers their trade values have gone down exponentially. Each of them will most likely demand a late round draft pick or a no-name prospect in return. The Canucks are definitely getting younger…and struggling in the meantime.
Who do you think the Canucks will move before the deadline? Will Higgins, Prust or Weber see another game in Vancouver?