Flyers waive Weise as Fletcher keeps making moves

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New Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher has some big decisions to make in the coming weeks and months as he tries to get the team out of its current predicament at the bottom of the NHL standings.

Before he gets to the major decisions (what to do with Wayne Simmonds? A permanent head coach? Other major changes to the roster?) he has been taking care of some work around the edges of the roster.

After dealing Jordan Weal to the Arizona Coyotes this past week, Fletcher announced on Tuesday that the team has placed veteran forward Dale Weise on waivers.

[Related: Flyers trade Weal to Arizona Coyotes]

The 30-year-old Weise signed a four-year, $9.4 million contract with the team prior to the start of the 2016-17 season but hasn’t really played up to the level the team expected from him. In 42 games this season he has five goals to go with six assists but has been held off the scoresheet entirely since Dec. 27 when he scored a goal in an overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Given that Weise still has another year on his contract at a salary cap hit of more than $2 million it seems really unlikely that another team is going to claim him on waivers. Assuming he clears, it could open the door for him to be sent to the American Hockey League, or perhaps even a trade in the coming days. If there is a team interested in adding him but isn’t willing to take on his entire salary this could get the steps moving to work out a deal with retained salary.

Sending him to the AHL would give him a buried salary cap hit of $1.3 million for the Flyers.

In his first two-and-a-half years with the Flyers he has 17 goals to go with 17 assists in 152 games. Just for comparisons sake, he had 14 goals and 13 assists in 71 games with the Canadiens and Blackhawks the season before signing that contract.

More: Why wait to trade for Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds?

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Not good: Brad Marchand suffered a concussion

Screenshot from Sportsnet telecast
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Tough news for a Boston Bruins team dealing with a tough start: Brad Marchand has a concussion.

That’s the word from head coach Claude Julien, so it’s a sure thing.

Now, there was no word about how severe the issue may be, but it’s officially a concussion. It’s not the ideal scenario even if it’s a “minor concussion,” which feels like a contradictory idea in itself.

Here’s the Dale Weise hit from last night’s eventual 4-2 win by the Montreal Canadiens:

It’s not official like Marchand’s concussion, but there may be a bit of good news. Maybe.

Matt Irwin was placed on waivers Sunday, which may indicate that Zdeno Chara is ready to play again.

That would be a much-needed boost.

CSNNE.com has more.

Video: Bishop holds off close calls from Canadiens

Heading into their second-round series, many thought that the difference between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning may come down to who’s in net. So far, it’s been Ben Bishop making the big saves instead of Carey Price.

The desperate Habs have been carrying the play for much of this game (as of this writing, Tampa Bay lacks a second-period shot), yet Bishop keeps turning Montreal aside. As you can see from this stop, sometimes he’s also getting a little luck:

Bishop also stopped Dale Weise by a narrow margin:

So far, the Lightning hold a 1-0 lead against the Canadiens, but you have to wonder how many times Bishop can save the day.

Canadiens forced to adjust as Desharnais has the flu

The Montreal Canadiens are hoping to even their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 tonight, but they will have to do so without the services of David Desharnais. The 28-year-old forward is battling the flu and is consequently not playing.

Desharnais had 14 goals and 48 points in 82 games in the regular season. He’s recorded two assists in seven playoff contests. This is the first time he’s missed a Canadiens game since the start of the campaign.

Brian Flynn has drawn into the lineup as a result and is centering a line that includes Alex Galchenyuk and Dale Weise.

Montreal surrendered a sixth round pick to acquire Flynn from the Buffalo Sabres on March 2. The 26-year-old had five goals and 17 points in 63 contests in the regular season. He has another goal and three points in five postseason games.

Despite higher seed and home ice, Therrien calls Habs ‘underdog’ against Tampa

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On Thursday, Habs head coach Michel Therrien went a familiar route in previewing his club’s second-round series against Tampa Bay — by positioning Montreal as the underdog.

To be fair, Therrien might have a point. The Habs went winless in five tries against the Lightning this season, securing just one of a possible 10 points (courtesy a 1-0 OT loss in mid-March.) Therrien also correctly pointed out that Tampa Bay was “the best offensive team in the league” this season, finishing first overall in goals per game (3.16).

But let’s be real here — Therrien’s remarks are mostly gamesmanship. And something we’ve seen before.

Last spring, he trumpeted his team as the decided underdog not just in the Eastern Conference Final against New York, but in the two previous rounds as well. Per the Toronto Sun:

“When we started the season, there were a lot of people not even putting us in the playoffs. Or, if they wanted to be polite, they’d give us the eighth spot,” Therrien said.

“We caused a surprise to make the playoffs. We caused a surprise against the Tampa Bay Lightning to win in four, and we caused a bigger surprise to beat the Boston Bruins.”

It seems Therrien’s message has trickled down to the players as well. Prior to Montreal’s opening-round series against Ottawa this year, winger Dale Weise suggested the Sens were the favored team.

“I think we’re the underdogs,” Weise said, per the Ottawa Sun. “They beat us three out of four times, they’re the hottest team in the NHL right now.

“I don’t see them as an underdog at all.”