Dale Weise hasn’t collected a lot of points in his two-plus seasons with the Flyers, but he has provided leadership, played with an edge, and mentored young players such as Nolan Patrick and Scott Laughton.
“It’s a tough morning,” Laughton said after Weise was placed on waivers Tuesday. “It’s the nature of the business, I guess. But to have a guy like that who is so good in the locker room and does a lot for the younger guys, it’s tough to see. He had a big impact on a lot of young guys here. He had a lot of guys over his house for Christmas, and that’s just the type of guy he is.”
If Weise clears waivers at noon Wednesday, the Flyers could send him to the AHL’s Phantoms. They also could decide to keep him on the roster.
Patrick, 20, was hit hard by the news that Weise might not be his teammate again. They both are Winnipeg natives and had an instant bond.
“It’s a business and players come and go, but I could go on and on about him,” said Patrick, who snapped a 24-game drought with two goals in Monday’s 7-4 win over Minnesota. “The day I got here, he was such a good teammate and made me feel really comfortable. It’s obviously a sad day seeing him go, but hopefully it’ll be best for him moving forward.”
Patrick called Weise and Travis Konecny his “best buddies on the team” and said Weise 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.”
In 42 games this season, Weise has five goals, 11 points and a minus-6 rating. He was a healthy scratch Monday and was replaced by Jori Lehtera. He has 34 points in 152 games as a Flyer.
The Flyers, who traded Jordan Weal to Arizona last week, have only 12 forwards.
“It’s always tough. Like when Wealer got traded, too,” Laughton said. “I’ve been with him for three or four years now with Allentown [and the Flyers]. It’s always tough when you see guys go, but that’s the way it goes when we’re at the place where we are now in the standings. I think guys are aware that changes needed to happen. I’m not sure what will happen in the future, but we have to stick together.”
Weise, 30, did not practice with the team Tuesday. The winger’s four-year contract, which has an annual cap hit of $2.35 million, will expire after the 2019-20 season.
New general manager Chuck Fletcher might have a trade in the works. If he recalls a forward from the Phantoms, Taylor Leier, Nic Aube-Kubel, and Tyrell Goulbourne are among the candidates.
Fletcher was unavailable for comment.