VOORHEES, N.J. — Dale Weise saw his minutes nearly cut in half last season when he was dealt from Montreal to Chicago.
Averaging about 15 minutes of ice time with Montreal, Weise was playing anywhere from five to nine minutes a night in Chicago. That was frustrating for the 28-year-old, but that temporary feeling was exchanged for elation when the Philadelphia Flyers sent a four-year deal his way this offseason.
Now, he’s ready to return the favor.
“I put Chicago behind me,” Weise said during Thursday’s player evaluation session. “Chicago didn’t affect my confidence at all. I’m in great shape right now and I’m ready to get going.
“For a team to show me that confidence with a four-year deal, you obviously want to reward them with your hard work and just bring what I can to the team.”
The Flyers didn’t throw that lofty contract in his direction because of the one point he recorded in 15 games with Chicago. It was a result of his elevated level of play since 2013.
Through his three and a half seasons, Weise was somewhat of a journeyman fourth-liner. In 2013-14 between Vancouver and Montreal, the Manitoba native 16 points and set career-highs in goals (6) and assists (10).
That was the prelude for his breakout season when he was 26-years-old. In 79 games with Montreal, Weise racked up 29 points on 10 goals and 19 assists. He followed that up with 26 points in 56 games before the unfortunate move to Chicago.
Weise credits the success as he’s gotten older to nothing more than being given a chance.
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better,” Weise said. “I’ve gotten more experience and I just continue to get a bigger role. There’s so many guys in the NHL that can be successful… if they’re given the opportunity but sometimes they don’t get a chance.”
Philadelphia will be Weise’s fifth team in six years, so he knows a thing or two about entering a new locker room. He says he’s not going to come in and be a “rah-rah” type of guy or tell people where to go. He’ll let his play do the talking.
“I think they know what I can do,” Weise said. “That’s why they invested in me for four years. Just come in and play my game… and I’ll do a lot of good things here.”
For $9.4 million over four years, the Flyers fully believe that those “good things” will be worth their while.