Mike Weber has been with the Buffalo Sabres longer than any player currently on their roster, first appearing in a game with the team during the 2007-08 season. Over the years he has become one of the leaders on a young, rebuilding team that has experienced a lot of losing over the past couple of seasons. Now he is going to get an opportunity to perhaps win a Stanley Cup after the Sabres traded him to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night in exchange for a 2017 third-round draft pick.
The Sabres will also retain half of Weber's remaining salary as part of the trade. He will be eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season.
"We are pleased to welcome Mike to our organization," Capitals general manaber Brian MacLellan said in a statement released by the team announcing the trade. "Mike is a stay-at-home defenseman, who plays a physical game and is respected by his teammates. We felt it was important to add depth to our blueline by adding another quality veteran defenseman."
Weber has appeared in just 35 games for the Sabres this season, scoring one goal to go with four assists while playing more than 15 minutes per game. He adds some depth to an already deep Capitals blue line that has been one of the best in the NHL this season with Matt Niskanen and John Carlson leading the way.
The Capitals are already the best team in the NHL this season (and this is perhaps the best Capitals team ever) and with their win on Monday night against the Arizona Coyotes they became the first team in league history to win 44 of their first 58 games. They also currently leading the league in goals scored while allowing the fewest goals against.
This isn't a huge trade for the Capitals, and they still figure to be major players ahead of the Feb. 29 deadline. They are one of the many teams that is rumored to have interest in Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd.
On the Sabres end, the draft pick adds to their collection of picks over the next two years and gives them a total of 20 picks in 2016 and 2017, including 10 in the first three rounds.