Yannick Weber: Montreal Canadiens Diamond in the Rough

Matt EichelSenior Writer IApril 8, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 02: Yannick Weber #68 of the Montreal Canadiens skates in warmups prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils  on January 2, 2009 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hopefully, the Montreal Canadiens don't mess up, this time, with this Swiss native.

After toying with Mark Streit—on forward one night and back on the blue line the next—the Canadiens eventually gave up on the Swiss blue liner.

A big mistake in hindsight, but it's done and gone.

The Canadiens are on the verge of possibly losing a well worn Stanley Cup champion in Mathieu Dandenault by doing the exact same thing—putting a defenseman up on forward and then switching him whenever.

Sure, these players are versatile and maybe enjoy it here and there, but there's a new kid in town and he's got potential pouring out of his ears.

Swiss born, 20-year-old Yannick Weber is the real deal and he's a defenseman.

As the Swiss blue liner got his second call up of the season from the Hamilton Bulldogs, which he is leading in goals, assists and points by a defenseman all in his rookie season in the AHL, there are rumblings he will only be used on the power play.

Fair enough, Weber is known for his booming shot and expertise at moving the puck around on the man advantage, but besides the power play, rumour has it he'll be a third liner.


This is Mark Streit all over again and if that episode taught us anything, he was better as a defenseman.

How many points did Streit have as a defenseman?

He had 62-points. He has 55-points so far this season with the league's worst team.

If there's any warning here, it's to hold on to this kid and not to juggle him between forward and defense. Stick him on defense and leave him there.

With both Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider out and Francis Bouillon out for a bit more too, this kid deserves to play in the top six.

Even if they dress Dandenault as a seventh defenseman, don't put Weber up on the forward. Keep him defense.

Please, Mr. Gainey, this kid's got 16 goals and 44-points in the AHL as a rookie.

His potential is too great to be pulling another Mark Streit.