Being able to play for the NHL team you grew up a fan of has to be a major highlight in a player's career. Dale Weise had that opportunity, but when a better opportunity knocked on his door, he had to take full advantage.
According to Stu Cowan of Hockey Inside/Out, Weise was hoping to return to the Montreal Canadiens this year as an unrestricted free agent. Unfortunately when the time came for negotiations to begin, it became clear that there would be no return to the bleu, blanc, et rouge for him.
"When the negotiation period opened up, we put a call into (Montreal) because we figured they’d have some interest," Weise told Cowan. "We didn’t talk all week long until the morning of July 1, and then they made an offer. But it wasn’t really a substantial one and that was kind of the only one they made and we said: 'OK, that’s not going to work.' And that was kind of the extent of it.
"It was a three-year deal, but it was nowhere near what I was getting paid in Philly," added Weise. "So I said: 'You guys are going to have to come up a lot more.' I’m not going to take less money to play there."
The 28-year old forward elected to sign a four-year, $9.4-million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers this offseason and is excited to once again be playing in an "exciting sports city.”
The lifelong Canadiens' fan ended his career in Montreal having played 152 games with the team before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks prior to the 2016 NHL trade deadline. His grit and penchant for scoring timely goals quickly made him a fan favourite in Montreal, but ultimately that was not enough to convince Weise to remain with the team.
However, he still remains loyal to the team he grew up supporting, and holds no grudges towards Canadiens' GM Marc Bergevin.
“My dad’s still got all the Canadiens stuff in there,” Weise said during an interview from his summer home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “That will never change.”