VOORHEES – Another one bites the dust, but it comes as no surprise that veteran forward Dale Weise was placed on waivers by the Flyers on Tuesday.
As was the case with the Jordan Weal trade last week, the Weise move was partly a product of the Flyers’ dismal season, one which finds them hopelessly out of contention.
If no NHL team claims Weise by noon Wednesday, the Flyers can assign him to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
No doubt more moves are on the way for this last-place team as the Feb. 25 NHL trade deadline nears.
From a team standpoint, it’s important for the players to understand this is the nature of the business. It happens to non-contending teams all the time.
Clearly Weise, 30, will be missed in the locker room, particularly by young players such as Nolan Patrick, who enjoyed a career game (an NHL-high four points) in Monday night’s 7-4 win over the Minnesota Wild.
“Yeah, it stinks, it’s part of the business,’’ Patrick said after Tuesday’s practice at the Skate Zone. “Players come and go but I could go on and on about him.
“He’s been unbelievable for me since I got here (last season). Such a good teammate. He made me feel really comfortable. It’s a sad day to see him go. But I hope the best for him moving forward.’’
Scott Laughton said Weise hosted a Christmas party at his home for some of the players who couldn’t get home due to the short break.
“He and TK (Travis Konecny) are my two best buddies on the team,’’ Patrick said. “He was really good at helping me stay positive through the slump and when the team wasn’t going well.
“He’s by far the best teammate I’ve ever played with.’’
Laughton has been with the organization for some six years but is still considered part of the youth movement.
As many times as this has happened – with veteran players being moved – it’s still painful to watch.
“It’s tough, a tough morning,’’ Laughton said. “It’s the nature of the business I guess but to have a guy like that who’s so good in the locker room, who does a lot for the younger guys, it’s tough to see.
“I think he had a really big impact on a lot of young guys. He had the guys over Christmas, that’s just the kind of guy he is, real positive. He will be missed for sure.’’
Candidates to be recalled from the Phantoms include Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Taylor Leier. Both have seen previous action with the Flyers.
Weise signed a four-year, $9.4-million free-agent contract on July 1, 2016.
This year, the 6-foot-2, 206-pound right wing has recorded five goals and a total of 11 points in 42 games with a minus-6.
His two-plus season totals with the Flyers have produced 17 goals and a total of 34 points with a minus-12.
Weise, a fourth-round (111th overall) draft pick in 2008 by the New York Rangers, has also played for Vancouver, Montreal and Chicago.
His NHL totals: 481 games, 54 goals, 120 points.
Sean Couturier sat alongside Weise in the locker room. He knows what the veteran meant to the team.
“It (another player gone) is never easy,’’ Couturier said. “It’s part of the business I guess. You never know what’s going to happen, especially when you’re going through a tougher stretch.
“We don’t really control those things. We just have to stay focused on what we can do.’’
Coach Scott Gordon went along with that assessment.
“He’s passionate about the game,’’ Gordon said. “Worked hard in practice every day. The players need to just go out and do their best.
“Everybody has a different role on the team, brings intangibles and just play to your strengths.’’
Stolarz on the mend
Goalie Anthony Stolarz, out since he was injured in the Dec. 15 game at Vancouver, has been practicing for a few days and looks like he’s on the road to recovery.
“Just trying to get my timing and conditioning back,’’ said Stolarz, who has only played 11 games for the Phantoms and Flyers this season after missing nearly all of last season due to a pair of knee surgeries. “Excited to be back.’’
James van Riemsdyk, who scored his fourth career hat trick in the Minnesota game, was given a day off for maintenance on Tuesday. . .Carter Hart will start in goal for the Flyers in Wednesday night’s home game against the Boston Bruins.
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