- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mike Weber’s role with the Washington Capitals won’t be determined until the defenseman joins the team later this week, coach Barry Trotz said on Wednesday.

Weber, 28, was obtained from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a third-round pick in 2017 on Tuesday, just shy of a week before the NHL trade deadline. He won’t join the team until later this week — likely on Friday — because the Sabres were in the midst of a West Coast road trip and because his wife is expecting their second child.

“Where he fits in, where he will play — we won’t know any of that until he gets here and becomes a part of the group and all that,” Trotz said before the Capitals hosted the Montreal Canadiens. “The guys that are here have done a really good job, and I have no beefs with anybody that’s already here. He just wants to be a part of, hopefully, a team that has a chance.”

The Capitals were looking to add a defenseman because of concerns about depth as the team prepares for the postseason.

Trotz pointed to last spring, when the New York Islanders were down two defensemen for their first-round playoff series against Washington, as an example of what can happen when that depth is tested.

“You saw, first-hand, last year, playing in the Islanders series, you get a couple D-men hurt in a long, physical series, you need a lot of depth,” Trotz said. “I think we’ve got a good, physical defense, and Mike will add to that depth. … It’s good to have depth. That’s an area that’s hard to fix if you get some injuries there, and we saw it first-hand last year.”

SEE ALSO: Capitals’ Mike Richards has drug charges stayed by Manitoba court

Weber, a second-round pick in 2006, has spent his entire career with the Sabres. A physical, 6-foot-2, 217-pound defenseman, Weber had played in 35 of Buffalo’s 58 games and was highly regarded among teammates for his personality and attitude.

The Capitals appear to have their top six defensemen set, following Brooks Orpik’s return from an injury that kept him out for 40 games, and how Weber fits appears uncertain.

“As coaches, as players, you know when a guy plays hard against you and takes a piece of you all the time, so he’s one of those guys and we felt that he would be a real good fit for us,” Trotz said. “Just, as I say, he goes into the eight, and that’s a pretty good group of eight that we have.”

• Zac Boyer can be reached at zboyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide