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Consider for a moment Dale Weise

Dec 10, 2012, 4:08 PM EDT

Dale Weise, Nathan Horton Getty Images

Shea Weber and his $13 million signing bonus can afford to miss a season.

Mike Knuble may not play another game once the lockout ends, but the 40-year-old has already made millions in the NHL.

But what about Dale Weise?

I only mention Weise because I’m in Vancouver, but he’s not the only player who may have his NHL career cut prematurely short if the 2012-13 season is canceled due to the lockout.

Weise, if you’ve never heard of him (he’s perhaps best known as the guy who wouldn’t fight Shawn Thornton), is a 24-year-old fourth-liner for the Canucks who was drafted 111th overall in 2008 by the Rangers.

Last October, New York waived him, thus clearing his path to Vancouver where he’d score four goals and four assists in 68 games, with 81 PIM.

In July, Weise inked his first ever one-way contract (one year, $615,000). Up to then, he’d earned considerably less than a million bucks playing hockey.

Not that the Canucks were rushing to lock him up. First they put him through the arbitration ringer, often used as a message-sender from clubs to players. (It’s believed the Canucks were less than impressed with Weise’s willingness to embrace the guardian role on a team without a traditional enforcer.)

But the point of this isn’t to debate the merits of Dale Weise. Maybe he comes back and plays 1,000 games in the NHL. All I’m saying is, if I were him, I’d be worried. Real worried. Because beyond the 2012-13 season, there are no guarantees. And while $615,000 isn’t a ton of money in pro sports, it’s a ton of money for most people. And Weise isn’t far from being “most people.”

Weise is currently lighting it up in the Dutch League, as one would expect any NHLer – even a marginal one – to do.

Meanwhile, feisty forward Steve Pinizzotto has been turning heads for Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Chicago while playing the same role Weise was signed to play with the Canucks.

“The level of [the AHL] right now is pretty high and the fact that so many guys aren’t playing hockey,” said Pinizzotto in November, “and it’s a huge advantage to be playing.”

  1. ibieiniid - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    too many words to read about Dale Weise. passed

    • zetaone - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      And yet you still felt the need to grace us with your brilliant wisdom. Thanks for that.

      • ibieiniid - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:05 AM

        my point was: i don’t give two s—s about a fringe player like him. i understand news is thin right now but how do they single out one fringe player like that?

        if it’s any consolation, i did actually read the article… then realized how much of a waste of time it was.

      • delsj - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:53 AM

        Congratulations ibie, you have something in common with the NHLPA – neither of you “give two s—s about a fringe player like him”

  2. bruinpred - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Maybe he’ll have time for the fight he postponed with Shawn Thornton.

  3. dprouse - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    The bottom 1/4 of any NHL roster is replaceable – nothing new there. It’s just that with the lockout, half a season will have passed, so it will become easier to waive and buy out guys like Weise. It will also make more sense to go with young guys in your own system as opposed to signing free agents to fill out the bottom of your roster. In other words, Chris Campoli may wish he had spent more time this Fall planning life after hockey, and less time at CBA negotiations.

  4. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Part of me feels for Weise but he is a fringe player who ultimately is in the league only because there are 30 teams. If the NHL were still 20 or even 24 teams Weise probably wouldn’t be good enough to play in it. Should he still be able to earn a paycheck? Absolutely But, there are multiple other competitive leagues in the world such as those in Russia and Switzerland where he can.

    More importantly, it’s still a luxury to play a sport for a living, not a right. All of these players are more than welcome to fight for a job like the rest of us.

  5. zetaone - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    No offense to Dale Weise, but I’m sure the arena attendants, the concession workers, the parking attendants, the people selling/manufacturing NHL merchandise, the trainers, the secretaries, the local scouts, the janitors, even the local small restaurant and other business owners, and EVERYONE else that has had their ability to support their families impacted by the lockout beyond comprehension – will not shed one tear knowing he isn’t getting his $650k.

    • zetaone - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      If I was paid $52,500 a year (1/10 of league minimum) to do what I TRULY loved, maybe even something I’ve aspired to do since childhood, I would be the happiest man on the planet. Somewhere along the way, they have forgotten about that.

      • blomfeld - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        “And while $615,000 isn’t a ton of money” ?

        Well it’s more than our very own Prime Minister makes ! (ie: Stephen Harper’s salary is currently $317,500 as per Wikipedia) What a complete joke ! This whole thing with these players has gotten to the point of being beyond ridiculous ! And yet who’s to blame for that ? You guessed it … all of us idiots who pay to attend games and buy the over-priced junk ! I want hockey to start just as much as anyone. And yet if it does fall to pieces, then trust me, I won’t be shedding too many tears !

  6. 127taringa - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Consider Weise, first wouldnt stand up to Thornton and now wont stand up to Donald Fehr.

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