According to phone calls I made since last week: Anaheim, Nashville, Pittsburgh in mix for Dale Weise.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 21, 2016
The Nashville Predators a reportedly in the mix for Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise.
David Poile has waffled back and forth about being active this trade season, teetering between wanting to do something to jolt the team and being fine standing pat. That shouldn't be a surprise though, as NHL GMs always say one thing and do another to avoid tipping their hand
Remember, this is the same Poile who told the Nashville Post that trading Seth Jones is "not happening" a month before he was swapped for Ryan Johansen. Things change in an instant.
But does Dale Weise help the Predators?
Weiss is a 6'2", 206 lb. right winger with 84 points in 313 NHL games. He's on track for the best season of his professional career, and has racked up 25 points predominantly flanking David Desharnais before he broke his foot. That production would put Weise ahead of players like Craig Smith, Calle Jarnkrok and Mike Fisher in the scoring department.
Were he to come to Nashville, Weise could slot in on the right side of either the second or third lines. He'd probably have more success with Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro than Colin Wilson and Mike Fisher, but Smith has started to put up some goals recently (when he's not missing the net), so knocking back down may not help him sustain that.
And there's the rub.
While supplanting Smith wouldn't be a travesty, Weise is more of your prototypical third line player. It would make more sense to utilize him in that capacity but, if Poile is trying to bolster his scoring depth, putting him with Fisher and the ghost of Colin Wilson would likely torpedo any productivity he's had this year. Weise is only four points away from tying his career high, but he isn't an offensive catalyst.
There's also shade of Mike Santorelli in this deal. Remember (even though you don't want to) that Santorelli was having a fantastic season with Toronto before he was traded; 29 points in 57 games. Nashville's third line was sputtering, and bringing in the former Predator looked like a solid deal that would give them a shot of offense they sorely needed.
We all know what happened next. Santorelli could not get it going, and notched one measly goal and four points in the remaining 22 games. Obviously Weise isn't the same player, but bringing in another depth guy when your current depth guys aren't doing much isn't likely to fix the problem.
Dale Weise isn't a bad pickup, and at this point in time he may even be an upgrade over Viktor Arvidsson. But knowing the problems that Nashville has had maintaining production, especially in the bottom six, Weise probably isn't going help right that ship. In fact, he runs a bigger risk of being dragged down with it.