2013-14 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Mike Weber
The Buffalo Sabres 2013-14 season was one of the worst in franchise history, and now it's time to take a look at who made it all possible. We're grading everybody who played at least 20(ish) games for the Sabres this year, from Conacher to Weber.
Contract: Signed through 2015-16 at $1.6 million per year
Report Card Grade in 2013: B (link here)
Introduction: When Mike Weber signed his three-year contract extension last summer, the majority of fans were relieved that the Sabres locked up such a reliable and improving young defender for a reasonable price. Then, sometime last summer, Weber's game fell off a cliff, and he became one of the faces of the Sabres Tanking Operation this year. Was there any good to be found in Weber's season? Let's find out.
Key Stat: For those of you who think there's no redeeming Weber after this season, check this out - from October through January, Weber was a -28 with just 2 points in 39 games. But in the last three months of the season? Just -1 with 7 points in 29 games. Whichever Mike Weber decides to show up next season will go a long way to determining whether the Sabres will be watchable next year.
Thumbs Up: One of Weber's biggest strengths is his physical game, and led the Sabres in hits this season with 208. He also blocked 161 shots, 42 more than any other player, and good enough for 16th in the league. He set a new career high with a four-game point streak at the end of the season. He was remarkably consistent whether at home or on the road, posting almost identical numbers in those contests.
Thumbs Down: Weber finished 882nd in the NHL in +/- with a -29; another way to say that would be that Mike Weber had the fifth-worst +/- in the entire NHL this season. While the aforementioned turnaround was nice to see, it came after a four moth stretch so bad that the Sabres were already far out of contention for anything but the #1 draft pick. Weber was relatively well-protected in terms of zone starts and QoC, so the fact tat he put up such disappointing numbers (and was one of the worst defensemen on the team in terms of Corsi) is a bummer to say the least.
Memorable Moment: Here's Mike Weber's only goal of the season. Naturally, it came with him streaking toward the front of the net.
Voting: We're grading on a curve this year, adjusting for the Sabres organizational ineptitude. So, using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season (for the Sabres) C an average season, and F a very poor season (again, for the worst team in the league) grade Mike Weber on his performance this year.
Grade Mike Weber on his 2013-14 Sabres season.