With troubles on defence (and many other areas this year), the Canucks traded winger Dale Weise for Montreal’s Raphael Diaz on Monday.
The trade should be considered an easy win despite Weise’s international acclaim as the “Dutch Gretzky” due to his recent healthy scratches on a Canucks offense that already has a weak bottom six. A perennial 4th-liner in the Pacific Division, trading for a player whose points per game statistic is double Weise’s (at defence) seems to easily favour Vancouver GM Mike Gillis.
For information on Raphael Diaz, his puck-moving skills on top of being a right-hander meet two demands that the Canucks D-core has needed since the loss of Sami Salo and Christian Ehrhoff. With 11 points on the year, the Swiss 28-year old is only in his third NHL season and has been a cog on the Montreal Canadiens’ powerplay.
Where he fits on the roster for the long term is up in the air, as his UFA status is coming this July. In conjunction with the floating rumours of Alex Edler being traded for a better and younger valued core player, Mike Gillis could be making room for the shoot-first top-six offensive d-man that the team is in desperate need for.
The Vancouver Canucks press release on the trade:
Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager Michael D. Gillis announced today that the Canucks have acquired defenceman Raphael Diaz from Montreal in exchange for Dale Weise.
Diaz, 28, has collected 11 assists and 12 penalty minutes in 46 games for the Canadiens this season. He has played three seasons in the NHL, recording a total of 41 points (4-37-41) and 48 penalty minutes in 128 career games. The Baar, Switzerland, native appeared in the 2012 All-Star Game skills competition as a member of the rookie team. Diaz was signed by Montreal on May 13, 2011.
The 5’11”, 194 pound defenceman has also played on the international stage, most recently representing Switzerland at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. He also played at the 2004 IIHF World U18 Championships, the 2005 and 2006 IIHF World U20 Championships, and the 2008 Ice Hockey World Championship.