4. Mike Weber
Logically, Mike Weber should be in the prime of his NHL career at 28 years old, and over the past eight seasons, he’s proven that he’s a capable NHL defenseman. It’s a bit of a mystery, then, as to why he had to settle for a professional tryout deal with the Blues this year. Weber played in 45 games during the 2015-16 season–35 for the Buffalo Sabres and 10 for the Washington Capitals–scoring one goal while contributing four assists and posting a plus-2 rating.
It’s reasonable to say that the Blues have nine legitimate NHL defensemen under contract already–their top six from last season plus Robert Bortuzzo, Petteri Lindbohm, and Chris Butler–so it’s hard to see how Weber could possibly fit into the mix. Unless Kevin Shattenkirk gets traded during the next couple weeks (a near impossibility at this stage since the team has now appointed him as an alternate captain for this season), the only path to the roster for Weber would probably involve Bortuzzo having a terrible training camp and being pushed off the roster.
Since Weber has played exclusively in the NHL for the past six seasons, and was a contributor to a playoff team as recently as last season, he probably won’t join the Blues’ AHL affiliate if he can’t make the NHL club, as it’d be more advantageous for him to wait for an opportunity to present itself with another organization.
Next: T.J. Galiardi