The struggles of Mike Weber continue to get worse

Grant Halverson

Mike Weber is having a terrible season after signing a new three year contract with Buffalo this offseason. How much worse will things get?

The 2013-14 season started so well for Mike Weber.

He came in to the year sporting a shiny new three year contract with the Buffalo Sabres, representing both a raise in salary and in the trust the team had in him as a player. After comments at the end of last year's disappointing campaign, Weber was also expected to take more a leadership role in the locker room, and was supposed to become one of those guys who would do a better job of holding his teammates accountable night in and night out.

Well we're now eleven games in to the year, and someone should start holding Weber more accountable, because he currently sits 662nd in the NHL - that's dead last - in plus/minus, and has been a liability to Buffalo on the ice all season.

In fact, Weber's horrible -12 score differential is two goal worse than the next guy on the list, Alex Goligoski at -10. While other defensemen who started poorly (Tyler Myers) are beginning to show signs that they're turning things around, Weber is just sinking lower and lower after his -2 last night, having only two games all year where he wasn't at least a -1.

And it's not just goal differential. Weber is horrible in the puck possession numbers we talked about yesterday - his FF% is an abysmal 35.4% - meaning the other team takes over 65% of the total shots when he's on the ice. Weber's puck possession numbers are better than only the two 2013 draft picks (Ristolainen and Zadorov) and perennial healthy scratch Jamie McBain. I suppose he wasn't supposed to be more than your sixth defenseman anyway, but that's still not very good at all.

Weber has looked lost or out of position at times in just about every game, and along with Rasmus Ristolainen (who also hasn't been great) hasn't been able to give the Sabres a solid third pairing all season. Other young players such as Mark Pysyk and Nikita Zadorov have so far outplayed the veteran #6, who looks more like a rookie than #3 has all year.

After playing a solid shortened season in 2013, Weber has regressed back to his inconsistent, defensively unsound self from 2012. For a man the Sabres showed enough trust in to re-sign for three more years, Weber's play thus far has been a huge disappointment.

I sure hope this wasn't the standard of accountability he was talking about, and for the next three years - or three games - the Buffalo Sabres had better hope the same.

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