rafael diaz

The Montreal Canadiens are interesting. It’s common knowledge that their goal-scorers are, when compared to other teams around the league, noticeably small. And indeed, Habs’ GM Marc Bergevin has noticed this. With that info, it feels like his goal has become to counterbalance those small players with what he believes to be big tough guys (Parros, White, Prust, Moen…even Doug Murray), so the team’s average height/weight isn’t embarrassing.

And so, here we are: they’ve now brought in 6’2″ 210-pound forward Dale Weiss, and shipped out 5’11″ 198-pound d-man Raphael Diaz.

The problem here, is that Diaz is a second-pair-level defenseman seeing close to 19 minutes of ice time a night, and Weise is a 4th line waiver-claim player who logs less than eight. Vancouver’s new player has double Weise’ points-per-game, and he’s not a forward. He’s pretty useful, all told.

Diaz was set to become a UFA (Weise is a pending RFA), and with talent in the minors on its way, I understand Montreal felt they had an asset to move. I just don’t think they used that asset to make their team better. In the NHL, players like Weise are often available for nothing.

Comments (10)

  1. The identity crisis in Montreal continues… It’s puzzling because sometimes Bergevin seems so poised and patient with his plans to rebuild the club and other times he seems like a mad scientist with no method to his madness.

    Quality bottom-six forwards are a commodity in the NHL; guys like Prust and Moen eat minutes and at the very least are not a liability. Depending on your situation, a guy like Prust may be worth trading a second pairing D-man for. The Canadiens could use another workhorse like Prust, however in the case of Dale Weise, Prust he is not.

    While Diaz isn’t exactly Subban, he’s not a guy worth giving away for essentially nothing. He’s the kind of depth guy that a good team is looking for at the deadline, a third-pairing upgrade kind of guy.

    I can’t say exactly what I would have done if I were in Bergevin’s shoes, but it seems like he contiues to take one step forward and two steps back. With Markov likely to walk this offseason (if he’s not dealt at the deadline), now they’ll potentially need to find two NHL-ready D-men to add to their currently unimpressive stable and the market for UFA defensemen is crazy…

  2. Wow… that is a horrible move. Wiese is a bit player, one you should be able to get for a mid-round pick or mid-level prospect. Shouldn’t need a solid 4/5 D to get him back…
    I’d be loathe to give up a 6/7 D for a guy like Weise.

  3. Ignoring the fact that I’m not entirely happy with the deal (as a Habs fan), I should point out that the trade is waiver pickup in exchange for undrafted UFA.

  4. Diaz is a steaming pile of hot garbage. Habs win this deal hands down.

    • Man, how bad is that blue-line if a steaming pile is earning 19 minutes a night?! And getting 4 times more PK time than the reigning Norris winner!

      • Diaz has been a healthy scratch the last 8 games. He was replaced by a rookie, Nathan Beaulieu. If the Canucks wanted a Diaz type player, they should just be giving Weber more ice time.

        Diaz’s ice time is inflated because of the injury to Emelin at the start of the year and the fact he played 2nd unit PP.

        • By most statistics, Diaz is a better player than Murray, Bouillon or Emelin. He is a good possession defenceman with a good first pass and the ability to move the puck around in the offensive zone. He also has NHL-level skating, something that can’t be said about Murray.

          There is no reason other than Therrien stubborness to explain why Murray or Bouillon are given so much leeway while Diaz is a healthy scratch for close to a month.

        • So you’re telling me that Diaz is so bad that Therrien gave him 2:40 a game of PK time, second on the team behind Gorges?

          So either Therrien is incompetent or the rest of their D corps is incompetent in their own zone… or both!

          • DOH: I know it doesn’t make sense, and I truly questioned those decisions. Those early numbers are from when Therrien was trying to rein in Subban. I follow both team, I’m a fan of both teams and I just didn’t like Diaz.

            Eljab: I don’t question by statistics that Diaz is better than Murray and Bouillon and Emelin. However those 3 bring another dimension that Diaz didn’t. And that’s toughness. Sure Diaz has skills that the others don’t, but they also have stuff that Diaz doesn’t. I guess it all comes down to the team’s needs.

  5. As a Canucks fan, it looks like an awesome trade for us. Maybe it was the system but Weise has been completely horrible this year (and most times last year). Not sure why Bergervin would trade Diaz for an unreliable 4th line player…

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