What can be said about Yannick Weber that hasn’t already been said?
Luckily for me, everything. Because who the heck has been discussing Yannick Weber?
From day one “Bizarro” Weber has impacted very little. He was acquired two days after the trade of Shea Weber for P.K. Subban. He came over from a bad Canucks team where he was often watching the game from the press-box. I’d bet very few Predators fans were aware of his existence (and I’d count myself among them).
Very quickly, he frustrated those same fans who were counting on him to choose #6 so they could continue to justify their rash playoff jersey purchases (“But honey, [a] Weber does play for the Preds!”).
i'm appalled that Yannick Weber didn't take #6 when he signed with Nashville— bailey (@saadandbad) December 30, 2016
Then he joined the team. And played defense. And he did so throughout the season. I’m at a loss for more than that. At least he was better than Petter Granberg?
Though I strongly agree with Bailey, few people could actually confuse Shea and Yannick as Yannick stands a diminutive 5’11’’ - suffice it to say I’d rather have Shea in my corner were an on-ice scrum to occur.
Actually, if I’m on the ice, I’d rather have Shea Weber for anything. Yannick Weber averaged a paltry 11 minutes 55 seconds on the ice, which was bottom-fifteen for all qualifying defensemen in the NHL. One reason for that extremely low number is the productivity of the Top 4 D-men, but, that didn’t stop Irwin from averaging over 16 minutes per game.
And, of course, the Predators had many injuries along the blue line (Ellis, Josi, and Subban all missed >10 games). There was an opportunity for Weber to step up and be a fixture, and it wouldn’t have been outrageous production, either - two seasons previous he had scored 11 goals, which would have been good for 3rd on the team for defense (noteworthy - Subban only had 10).
But, he didn’t step up - and look no further than Poile’s contract maneuvering for the support of that statement. Irwin, signed to identical contracts (575k in 16-17, 650k in 17-18), received his new deal 6 months earlier.
As mentioned previously, Weber should be very thankful he is right-handed.
Best Moment of the Season
I am so thrilled that George tweeted this gem:
Yannick Weber led all defensemen in +/- (+10) in November, just in case you needed some more anecdotal evidence that +/- is a flawed stat.— GoPreds-BG (@George_Woodard) December 3, 2016
You can see the epitaph now:
Yannick Weber 1988-2071
“Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Leader in +/- among NHL Defenseman in November of 2016.”
I’ll say that again - Yannick Weber had the highest +/- for the month of November among NHL defensemen. Remember, Erik Karlsson is an NHL defenseman. Brent Burns is an NHL defenseman. Subban, Josi, Ekholm, and Ellis are NHL defensemen. And yet, still, Weber came out on top. Incredible.
Oh, and he scored a (singular) goal.
“First goal in 81 games.” But, it was the “shot of a goal scorer.” I lol’d.
Worst Moment of the Season
One of the benefits of being put into the lineup so infrequently is there’s less time for d’oh moments. Weber is not going to be on the ice in high stakes situations, particularly in the playoffs. But he was on the ice in the closing moments of the 6-0 drubbing the Predators took in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup, and he got into a bit of a brouhaha with Chris Kunitz.
But see the problem? Even his fights are ho-hum.
Nonetheless, that whole hootenanny might’ve been the Predators lowest moment of the entire season, and since Weber was involved, I can and will count it as his. It was sad. Very sad.
Trending Up or Down?
With the acquisition of Alexei Emelin, the Preds will be rostering 8 defensemen. It’ll be very interesting to see how the back end of the blue line shakes out, particularly if Poile stands pat. But, as we’ve consistently reported, it sure looks like a crowded field for Weber and co.
There's also some Emelin talk from Poile here.— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) July 25, 2017
It sure sounds like the Preds will be headed for next yr with 8 d-men on the NHL roster. https://t.co/IzgjjoGBGn
He struggled to find ice time with a depleted roster, and next year’s group is at full strength. With that in mind, I am going to have to go with trending down. Emelin was acquired to play (presumably? it’s still a confusing move), and Irwin is a stronger player. Expect to see Weber spectating more often than not.
Final Grade: C
What would you grade Yannick Weber’s 2016-17 season?
This poll is closed
A (Playoff Wilson before this past year)
B (Calle Jarnkrok’s goal enthusiasm)
C (Letter I can never figure out where to put in Harry Z’s last name)
D (Craig Smith’s breakaway scoring ability)
F (Everything about Mike Milbury)