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Wednesday, 15 May 2013 15:30

Former Swift Current Bronco Dale Weise stung by Vancouver Canucks’ playoff exit

Written by  Brad Brown
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Boston and Toronto. Washington and New York. Two Stanley Cup playoff Game 7s on the same night. A Canadian sports fan’s dream.

A few years ago it may have been Dale Weise’s too.
Monday night, he didn’t even want to think about it.
“Before I played in the NHL, I used to watch the playoffs a little more,” the Vancouver Canucks forward and former Swift Current Bronco said six days after being swept by the San Jose Sharks in the first round.
“But obviously last year we went out in the first round to LA so it was tough to watch them steamroll teams and obviously this year going out the same way, I’m not too interested in watching any of it.
“There’s just so many teams I dislike. I hate watching LA, I hate Boston, I don’t like Chicago, I’m not a very big fan of San Jose, so there’s not many teams I can even stand watching.”
Weise’s second full NHL season ended May 7 when Aneroid product Patrick Marleau scored the overtime winner in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinal.
Special teams were the story of the series, from San Jose’s 24-10 edge in power play opportunities, to Canucks D-man Kevin Bieksa accusing top Sharks forwards of diving, to the Sharks’ game-tying goal on the power play after Bieksa took a cross-checking penalty, to Marleau’s winner, which also came on the power play after Daniel Sedin was sent off for boarding.
“They out-disciplined us in the first couple games and then their power play took over,” said Weise. “But I don’t think they surprised us in any way.
“Their goalie (Antii Niemi) was unbelievable. I really gained a new respect for him. Not that I didn’t know he was a good goalie before, but he really stepped up in that series.”
Weise scored 111 points in 173 games for the Broncos over three seasons from 2005-08 before he was drafted by the Rangers. He spent three more seasons in the American Hockey League and played his first NHL game against Philadelphia on Dec. 18, 2010.
Since then he’s registered seven goals, seven assists and 143 penalty minutes in 118 regular season NHL games.
There have been ups.
“The first few games you don’t think you’re star-struck, you just try and be confident coming in, but my first training camp I got to main camp and I was on a line with Chris Drury and Markus Naslund and I was just completely taken aback, like “Whoa, this is the real deal,” said Weise.
And downs.
“Every kid that plays hockey in Canada dreams of playing in the NHL,” he said. “You work and strive your whole life to be there and it’s a dream come true when you make it, it’s really hard to explain. But obviously, the business aspect is a tough part of it.
“As six or seven-year-old kid you don’t dream of coming to the rink and getting ripped by coaches or reading stuff in paper about your play. You dream of scoring big goals on CBC Hockey Night in Canada and being happy.”
And now, for the fourth time, negotiations.
Weise was picked up on waivers by Vancouver to start the 2011-12 season and will be a restricted free agent July 5, if he does not sign a new contract with the Canucks before then.
“I really enjoy the city,” he said. “I really love it there. The fans make it a really exciting place to play. Sometimes … there’s the media that plays a negative role, but it’s nice to be in a hockey hotbed.
“If I could guess if I’d be back, I’d like to hope so.”

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