Veteran NHL defenseman Mike Weber will attend St. Louis Blues training camp on a professional tryout basis.
As The Globe & Mail‘s James Mirtle–the god of NHL PTO signing reports–tweeted on Wednesday, the St. Louis Blues have agreed with veteran defenseman Mike Weber on a professional tryout agreement.
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Weber will attend the Blues’ training camp, and he’ll be competing to earn a job on the NHL club first and foremost.
Considering that the Blues are bringing back their top seven defensemen from last season and will also return three more guys who are pretty clearly capable of being NHL contributors–Petteri Lindbohm, Chris Butler, and Jordan Schmaltz–it’s difficult to see where Weber would fit into the Blues’ plans. If he lights it up during the preseason, he could choose to pursue NHL opportunities with other teams, and if he’s just so-so but does enough to catch the eyes of the Blues’ front office, it’s possible that he could end up signing a two-way contract to play for the Blues’ AHL affiliate in Chicago.
The 28-year-old Weber, a 6-foot-2, 217-pounder, has played 351 NHL games over eight seasons for the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals. Until being traded to Washington shortly before the deadline last season, Weber had spent his entire career with Buffalo, the organization that took him 57th overall in the 2006 draft.
Weber is a physical, stay-at-home defenseman, and his game is actually pretty similar to that of Joel Edmundson, who will be entering his second NHL season this fall. If by some chance he were to knock the Blues off their feet during camp, Edmundson would seem to be the guy who’d be most vulnerable to being replaced in the lineup.