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Dale Weise thinks he’s ready for a full-time job in the NHL
and after seeing his performance in the first
game of the preseason, it’s hard to argue.
MSG Network’s Joe Micheletti reported that Weise packed on
eight pounds over the course of the last year and it was noticeable in Weise’s
play. Perhaps that was the reason for his
overflowing confidence following the game:
“I’m trying to show I’m ready to be here full-time,” Weise told
Andrew Gross. “In hockey terms, I’m
relatively young at 23. In my mind, I’m ready to play here.”
Though he didn’t look out of place in a 10-game stint with
the Blueshirts last season and scored 38 points in 47 games in the AHL, Weise
looked like a much more imposing force tonight.
Granted, this was a preseason game, but Weise has the look
and feel of an NHL player. He showed
that he’s not just a scrappy pugilist; he can bring more to the table.
“I think I showed I can do a little more than last year in
spot duty,” Weise told
Gross. “I’m not strictly a one-dimensional, fourth-line guy. I can play any
situation. It’s something I like showing. That experience (last season) was
huge. It’s one of the most underrated things. Now I know the guys and I know
the system. There are no nerves anymore. I felt comfortable out there.”
Weise can play a physical game, but he’s also a decent
skater and has a power forward-type of game, a quality the Rangers may be
lacking. They’ve got several players
that go hard to the net, but few of the size and build of Weise.
Weise is competing for a job on the third or fourth lines,
the problem is that it’s hard to see where there’s room for him. Brian Boyle and Derek Stepan figure to center
those lines and Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Rupp are assured of
three of the wing spots. The frontrunner
for the fourth job has to be Mats Zuccarello, with Carl Hagelin and Sean Avery
also in the mix.
Avery played a good game tonight, but Tortorella is no fan
of him and he may be at a disadvantage. But Hagelin has been impressive throughout the month and his speed and
penalty killing ability are very much desired by Tortorella.
And even if Hagelin could use some AHL seasoning, it’s hard
to see how Weise could beat out Zuccarello for the last spot.
The Norwegian had an up and down rookie season, but his
playmaking ability and offensive touch may be a vital part to the club’s
success. Tortorella wants
more consistency from Zuccarello in his second season, but after proving
himself to a degree last year it will be hard for Weise to beat Zuccarello out.
Weise could make this battle even tighter with continued
strong play in the next preseason games, but he’s more likely to be an
early-season call-up from the CT Whale.
For more from training camp:
Camp Roster And 6 Battles To Watch >
Camp Opens With "The Test" >
Injury Overshadows Encouraging First Scrimmage >
Lines Provide Strong Clues To John Tortorella's Thinking >
Condition Growing Worrisome: Is A Veteran Defenseman Acquistion Coming? >
Contact Paul Mara's Agent As Concern Over Staal Grows >
Game #1 Preview: This Team Isn't Messing Around >
21 Training Camp Quick Hits >
Fall 2-1 In Underwhelming Preseason Opener >
Dale Weise May Be Ready, But Is There Room For Him? >
here for our full Summer 2011 Archive >
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