Dale Weise has been maligned since signing a 4 year deal with Philadelphia in 2016. Much of that comes from his 2.35M cap hit as well as the term of the deal which are both on the high end for a known bottom six forward.
However, Weise has shown, he may not be an actual liability in terms of talent so far this season. He’s earned praise from coach Dave Hakstol who bumped him to the third line due to some solid play.
Chart via HockeyViz
Weise has shown he can be a semi-positive impact on possession numbers. Visually, he looks frequently awkward on the ice, but in terms of root puck possession, he is driving play in his bottom six duty.
From a possession standpoint, he’s basically break even in terms of relative Corsi all while having unfavorable zone starts in defensive minutes. Visually, his PDO of 103.1 makes him look even better since not only is he driving possession, he’s doing so with great puck luck.
What this means for Weise is that he absolutely deserves to play on a fourth line role. Unlike Chris VandeVelde and Val Filppula, Weise actually does use his strength and talent to play some decent defensive hockey. As long as the results are there, he absolutely deserves the ice time he’s getting.
Ideally, he should stick around in a bottom six role even as the team gets healthy. With JVR due back next week, the Flyers should just send Nicolas Aube-Kubel down since he’s playing barely 6 minutes a game.
JVR could slot on the third line, while Weise could work with Laughton to form a solid possession driving fourth line.