Shea Weber finally had his first face-to-face encounter with the Montreal media

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For the first time since being acquired by the Canadiens, Shea Weber met the Montreal media. The scrum took place at head coach Michel Therrien’s golf tournament in Terrebonne, Quebec (about 30 minutes north-east of Montreal).

Weber came out sporting a Habs jersey with a letter “A” on the front. Before he spoke to the media, he posed for pictures with captain Max Pacioretty, owner Geoff Molson and Therrien.

As for the big trade out of Nashville, Weber admitted he was shocked, but says now that everything has sunk in, it’s time to get to work.

“It was obviously initial shock. I don’t think it was the fact that I was traded for (Subban), just the fact that I was traded,” said Weber. “It’s such a good city and such a great place to play hockey. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

As you can imagine, there’ll be a little more pressure playing in hockey-mad Montreal than there was in Nashville. The difference in media coverage in the two markets was on full-display on Tuesday morning.

“It’ll be an adjustment for sure,” Weber said of the amount of media covering the Habs on a daily basis. “It’s part of it. Like I said, it’s the passion in the city. People want to hear about the team and learn about the team.”

The message from Weber’s new teammates was similar. They’re all glad that he’s with them and not against them.

Nathan Beaulieu went to dinner with Weber on Monday night and it sounded like the young defenseman came away extremely impressed with his new teammate, calling him a “game-changer”.

As for Andrew Shaw, it’s safe to say he’s glad there’ll be no more net-front battles with Weber:

Therrien wasn’t willing to reveal who Weber would be paired with once camp opens in the fall, but there’s no doubt that the Canadiens coach is excited to have him in the lineup.

“He’s at the peak of his career,” Therrien said of Weber. “We can’t forget that this guy was the best defenseman in the NHL on the power play, scoring 14 goals.

“At the end of the day, we all figured that with the experience Shea Weber’s got, we figured the Montreal Canadiens are a better team now.”


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Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

caufield surgery
David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports

MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

matty beniers
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.