Philadelphia Flyers add depth to forward lines with new right winger Dale Weise, who provides size, speed, and tenacity to current roster
When the Philadelphia Flyers signed Dale Weise on the opening day of free agency, they envisioned him adding size, speed, and tenacious play to their roster. Weise signed a four-year, $9.4 million contract, and set out to prove he could add depth to the Flyers’ bottom six skaters.
“A four-year term for me was big,” Weise said. “I was pretty excited when we closed the deal on it. I know a couple of guys on the team. I like where they’re going. They’ve got some good, young defensemen, and some good forwards. I just really thought it would be a good fit for me.”
The twenty-seven year-old right wing towers at 6’2”, 206 lbs, and is not afraid to use his size defensively. He creates scoring opportunities and excels as a fore-checker. Last season, Weise had an NHL career-high fourteen goals in seventy-one games with the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks. Combined with the prior year, the right-winger totaled twenty-four goals, a big increase over totaling only thirteen goals in a combined four seasons of play. “I think, for sure, I can score more than fourteen,” he said. “I think I’m going to get a chance to play with some really good players and play some minutes.”
Weise adds the much-needed feistiness that the Flyers have been lacking on the third and fourth lines. He brings grit and toughness to the game, which is a common theme among the Flyers’ forward line-up. He fits well into the team’s current roster, especially in a checking line role.
Adding Experience to the Third Line
During training camp, the Flyers’ third line came together as Nick Cousins centered left wing Scott Laughton and right wing Weise. While Weise is signed to play the third line, the roster is still taking shape early in the preseason; he is versatile enough to be placed in several positions in the line-up. He possesses a powerful right-handed shot, skilled skating, and a sheer work ethic needed to make his presence known.
As a physical forward, he does not hesitate to drop his gloves when challenged and has already come to the aide of fellow teammates in preseason on-ice battles. He showcases his sense of sportsmanship and shows that he is an unselfish team player. He is disciplined and genuine on and off the ice, and brings a strong, amiable personality to the Flyers organization.
According to Weise, his best hockey is still ahead of him. He is confident that he is just starting to reach his prime and that he can build from his career-best season. “I’m really excited. I really like what Hexy had to say and what he thought about my game,” he said. He recalled that it was nice to feel like he was welcome on the team: “You want to go someplace where you’re wanted, and I really felt like Hexy wanted me here.”
Weise is ready to start the season in Philadelphia and looks forward to the competition that playing in the Eastern Conference brings. “I think the East is so wide open,” he said. “I look at the West and I think there’s eight really, really talented teams, but I think in the East, anybody can win. So, I’m excited.”
In the 2016-2017 season, the Flyers expect to have a greater production in scoring, have more chemistry developing among their lines, and have an energetic push to the Stanley Cup playoffs. With the addition of Weise, the Flyers have hit the jackpot in the pool of available free-agent forwards and are a step forward in their quest to be a Cup contending team.