The Canadiens have acquired defenceman Mike Weaver from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2015.
Weaver, a 5-foot-10, 183-pounder who shoots right, has played 55 games with the Panthers this season, picking up six assists and 23 penalty minutes to go along with a minus-9. He has 101 hits and 94 blocked shots while averaging 18:47 of ice time. Four Canadiens have more hits this season than Weaver: Alexei Emelin (137), Douglas Murray (118), P.K. Subban (111) and Lars Eller (110). Four Canadiens have more blocked shots: Josh Gorges (171), Andrei Markov (140), Subban (100) and Douglas Murray (97).
In 585 career regular-season games, the 35-year-old Weaver has 7-79-86 totals and 213 PIM. (Photo above is of Weaver checking Habs’ Max Pacioretty during game last season.)
“This is actually my first time being traded,” Weaver said on the Canadiens’ website. “I was at Pittsburgh’s training camp and I was picked up on waivers by Vancouver and that’s the closest I’ve been to a trade. Fortunately over the years I haven’t really had to deal with this but it’s an exciting situation going into an Original Six team that’s in a high spot in the standings and in a playoff position. I’m really excited to be coming to Montreal.”
The Panthers also placed former Canadien Scott Gomez on waivers Tuesday. In 29 games this season, the 34-year-old Gomez has 1-7-8 totals and is minus-9. It was also reported Tuesday afternoon that the Panthers had acquired goalie Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for goalie Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias.
The NHL trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The Canadiens held an optional practice Tuesday afternoon in Segunda, Calif., with seven players taking part at the beginning. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski was joined by Lars Eller, Ryan White, Francis Bouillon, George Parros, Brandon Prust and Michael Bournival. After undergoing some medical treatments for his lower-body injury, goalie Carey Price joined them. Price, who has missed all four games since the Olympic break with the injury, spent about 15 minutes on the ice with goalie coach Stephane Waite. He plans to skate on his own again Wednesday.
Coming off a 2-1 loss in Los Angeles Monday night, the Canadiens continue their four-game West Coast road trip Wednesday night when they visit the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Peter Budaj will make his fifth straight start in goal replacing Price.
“It felt good to get on the ice,” Price told reporters in California after practice. “It’s coming down to the important part of the year and I want to go into this stretch 100 per cent. I’m feeling good and progressing. The last 20 games of the year are a real mental grind and I want to make sure I’m prepared for the rest of the year and the playoffs. We still have a lot of hockey left this year and I want to make sure I’m good to go. It’s manageable but I want it to be 100 per cent before we go into the important stages of the year.”
After Wednesday’s game, the Canadiens travel to Phoenix to face the Coyotes on Thursday (9 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690) before wrappingup the trip Saturday in San Jose against the Sharks (10 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
(Photo by Wilfredo Lee/The Associated Press)