Another day, another NHLer off to Europe.
This time it’s Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mike Weber — the 24-year-old has agreed to join Lorenskog of Norway’s GET-ligaen, the top flight of Norwegian hockey.
The move makes Weber the third locked-out NHLer to try his hand in Norway. Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland and Florida forward Jack Skille both made their moves in mid-October, joining Rosenborg IHK Elite.
A native of Pittsburgh, Weber had a tough 2011-12 campaign with the Sabres — an influx of defensemen (Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regher, Alex Sulzer) saw his playing time decrease, and an upper-body injury cost him 12 games.
As such, Weber finished with relatively low numbers — 1G4A5PTS in 51GP — a far cry from his “breakout” campaign in 2010-11, when he posted 17 points in 58 games and finished tied for second on the team with a plus-13 rating.
Weber is now the seventh Sabre playing abroad, joining Ehrhoff and Sulzer (Germany), Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis (Switzerland), Andrej Sekera (Slovakia) and Jhonas Enroth (Sweden).
With a quote that’s sure to raise the ire of the stats crowd, here’s Jonathan Quick on his .833 save percentage to start the season:
“That’s for people that don’t know the game. Those numbers don’t mean nothing. We’re 0-2, though. That number means something, so that’s something that we’ve got to get better at.”
(That quote, per LA Kings Insider.)
Quick allowed four goals on 22 shots in his last outing, a 4-1 loss to Arizona on Friday, after which head coach Darryl Sutter said of his star goalie: “He didn’t play very well tonight, did he?”
So even if Quick doesn’t think much of statistics, he should still be extra motivated for tonight’s home game against Vancouver, assuming he gets the start.
Last season, Quick’s .918 save percentage ranked in a three-way tie for 14th out of the 29 goalies who started 40 or more games.
After making the Wild out of training camp, Tyler Graovac got some bad news on Tuesday — head coach Mike Yeo said Graovac would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.
Graovac, 22, played just under 14 minutes in Minnesota’s crazy 5-4 comeback win over Colorado in the season-opener, but sat out Saturday’s win over St. Louis.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Graovac was a notable physical presence in the Wild lineup, and is an intriguing prospect — he impressed with AHL Iowa last year, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.