Defenseman Mike Weber, who was set to be a restricted free agent, is back with the Buffalo Sabres for 3 more years. I like Weber, and the money works for a guy who isn’t going to be on your top pairing. I think he plays tough, and that’s something I wouldn’t mind rubbing off on a few other guys. It did make me curious to see what his advanced stats look like, so I checked.
Weber played a decent amount – 42 games, just over 15 minutes at even strength per. Though he doesn’t play on the power play, he lead the team in ToI on the PK, with an average of 2:59 per game. As you might expect from a defensive d-man, his Offensive Zone Starts are in the bottom third on Buffalo, though the Sabres don’t employ zone-matching nearly as much as some teams. I’m curious to see if that changes with a full season under a new coach. Looking at Corsi Relative to Quality of Competition, you can see that after Sekera, who was facing by far the thoughest comp at evens, Myers, Weber and Ehrhoff were very similar in facing decent players, with Pardy a half-step below them. Ruhwedel and Pysyk were being protected but that’s to be expected from rookie injury fill-ins – especially one you basically grabbed off the street.
Mike Weber is never going to be an offensive juggernaut, but I think he was getting some tough jobs and doing about as well as you’d expect. He played tough, thankless minutes on a bad team, and from his locker clean-out comments, he has the passion that the core of the team sometimes appears to lack. I’m happy to see him here for a few more years.