Mike Weber to Capitals: Latest Trade Details, Comments, Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2016

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mike Weber (6) in the first period during an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Buffalo Sabres announced on Tuesday that they traded defenseman Mike Weber to the Washington Capitals for a third-round selection in the 2017 NHL draft. 

Weber is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2015-16 season, which made him a possible trade option with the trade deadline coming up on Feb. 29. 

He spoke with John Vogl of the Buffalo News on Monday about the possibility of leaving Buffalo. 

"It’s always in the back of your mind, then you’ve got personal stuff in the back of your mind also,” Weber said. “It’s part of the business. It’s what we do. It’s what happens every year."  

Weber was drafted by the Sabres in 2007 and has been with the team ever since, serving as a second- or third-pairing defenseman. After almost nine years in Buffalo, he fell in love with the city, per Vogl. 

You can raise your kids here. You can have a great life here. You see how many veteran guys come back and live here. That’s a testament to the city in itself is how many guys have moved and played other places that might be a little fancier, a little nicer, but they come back to raise their families here. That’s pretty special. You don’t have that everywhere.

Success hasn't been at a premium for Weber with the Sabres, though. A stay-at-home, physical defenseman, Weber recorded just nine goals with a plus-minus rating of minus-42 overall. That number is a byproduct of a team that has made the playoffs just twice during his career. 

It still wasn't an easy deal for Sabres general manager Tim Murray, per News 4 Buffalo's Tom Martin:

Tom Martin @TomKCTV5

Statement from #Sabres GM Tim Murray on trading defenseman Mike Weber. https://t.co/D4HqNQLaha

The Sabres continue to hoard draft picks in an attempt to rebuild the franchise. According to GeneralFanager.com, the third-round pick acquired from the Capitals will be their ninth pick in the 2017 draft. 

Weber is going from a rebuilding Sabres team that has 55 points to a Capitals team that leads the NHL with 92 points through 58 games. It's a move well-deserved for Weber, according to Bill Hoppe of the Times Herald:

Bill Hoppe @BillHoppeNHL

Mike Weber was a stand-up, heart-and-soul guy. Glad he'll get to play in the playoffs again.

Preparing for a Stanley Cup run, the Capitals receive added depth on their blue line with Weber, which is important for a team that's been bitten by the injury bug. This season alone, Washington has had to play without defensemen John Carlson and Brooks Orpik for a combined 52 games.   

In case anything were to happen during the final stretch of the regular season, Weber would be able to step up and provide NHL experience to the Capitals defense. 

Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.


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