Yannick Weber was supposed to be a big part of the Vancouver Canucks in 2015-16. The Swiss defenseman was coming off an 11-goal season in 2014-15, and GM Jim Benning had talked him up as a dynamic threat on the back end.
But things didn’t go to plan, and that’s an understatement. Weber ended up with no goals in 45 games, he was a minus-17, and the Canucks let him become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Enter the Nashville Predators, who swooped in and signed him for one year and $575,000. The hope is that he can bounce back, that his puck-moving skills will be a good fit on one of the most talented blue lines in the league.
“He’s obviously disappointed with what happened last year,” GM David Poile told The Tennessean. “He didn’t have a good year in Vancouver. They didn’t try to re-sign him, and he basically comes in a low-end contract trying to prove himself.”
Assuming P.K. Subban will be on the Predators’ first-unit power play, Weber could potentially be on the second. Or, Weber and Subban could play together, with Subban using his agility and creativity to set up Weber’s big shot.
Of course, the Preds also have Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis to throw out there with the man advantage, so Weber will have to be sound defensively if he intends to be a regular in the lineup. It’s not like they’re desperate for his power-play prowess.
“I talked to a general manager over in Switzerland before we signed him,” said Poile, “and he said that Yannick could have taken the easy way out and come back and actually probably made more money in Europe, but he was bound and determined to get his career back on track and play well in the National Hockey League.”