Mike Weaver was originally signed as a free agent by Los Angeles in July 2004 and he spent the following year in Manchester (AHL), while the NHL went through a season-long lockout.
Boudreau was fired at the end of that season, after the Monarchs lost in the first round of the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The following season he won the AHL Championship in Hershey. But, that’s a different story for a different day. Back to Weaver…
He played 92 games for the Kings from 2005 to 2007. Fast forwarding a few years, he’s now with the Panthers, after signing a free contract in Florida this past August. Following practice yesterday, I spoke with him about his time here…
“It was fun. I enjoyed the weather and enjoyed the city,” said the 33-year old defenseman. “But, I’m happy where I am right now, in Florida. Through the wintertime we have the same weather as LA, just the summertime is a little bit more humid. Overall, with every city I go to – and hopefully Florida is my last one – you have your fond memories of each place. You have your positives and negatives with each organization. I think that, overall, LA was a great experience. I enjoyed it.”
When asked if he had any favorite memories of playing with Brown back then, the 5-foot-10 native of Ontario, Canada said – “Talking about his heavy hits the next day, after a game,” then paused for a few chuckles. “He’s a good guy. He’s a great leader and he deserves being the captain. I think he’s done well for himself. He plays the game hard and he plays it with heart.”
A few hours earlier I had asked Brown the same question about Weaver…
“He was a solid player when I played with him,” said the Kings’ captain. “Small guy with really long arms. So, he’s pretty deceiving as a defenseman.”
As noted in an article earlier this morning, Weaver won’t be the only Panther having a bit of homecoming tonight. Marco Sturm makes his return to Staples Center as well. You can read his thoughts on the experience here.
Interview with Nick Bjugstad – Florida Panthers first round draft pick