VOORHEES, N.J. -- Ron Hextall began calling Dale Weise on Tuesday, expressing interest in the much-traveled forward, who the Flyers signed on the first day of NHL free agency.
“He was one of the first guys to call me,” the 27-year-old right wing said. “I’m obviously a big fan of him. I thought he was honest. There were a couple teams kicking the tires but they said they had lists they had to go down.”
Weise signed a four-year, $9.4 million contract and is slotted to replace Ryan White on the fourth line.
He has some familiarity with the Flyers, playing 152 games for Montreal in recent years. This will be his fifth NHL club since 2010.
“Playing in the East … the last few years, I saw Philly quite a bit,” he said. “They’ve got some dynamic forwards, their power play has been unbelievable, they’ve got some great young defensemen, they’ve got some good goaltending.
“I just think they have a lot of good pieces that I can contribute to. I just think they’ve got a lot of pieces there now and coming in the next few years that we can be some serious contenders in the [Eastern Conference].”
Hextall views Weise as White’s replacement. Like White, he can play up or down the lineup.
“I think I can fit anywhere,” Weise said. “I fit in the top nine, maybe I’m kind of a middle-six guy. I can play in the top two lines if you need me, if there’s injuries, if you don’t have anyone else in line.
“I’m very comfortable playing on the third and fourth line. I think I can do a little bit of everything. That’s why the fit works so well with Philly.”
His best year was last season when he scored 14 goals with the Canadiens before being dealt to Chicago at the trade deadline. Would it be a stretch for him to score 20 here?
“I’m never a guy that really checked individual stats,” Weise said. “I look to play well and go from there. But if you look at it, I had 14 goals in Montreal in about 50 games playing as a third-line guy.
“I’m not sure how many power-play goals I had (Weise scored three) … I didn’t have that many. I think with the right opportunity and playing with the right guys, I think it’s very possible I could push 20 every year.”