Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said on Thursday that he does not expect captain Shea Weber to play during the 2021-22 NHL season and the possibility exists that the defenseman has played his last game.
Weber played through ankle, knee, and thumb injuries during Montreal’s run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. Those injury issues were why Bergevin left the veteran defenseman unprotect during this week’s Seattle expansion draft.
“Over the last few years, there was his ankle, his knee, his thumb,” Bergevin said. “There is a lot of pain, it takes him a long time in the morning to get ready just for a practice. As you know, Shea is not the kind of person who complains. Even missing a practice is not an option. He’s got a lot of mileage and he’s really pushed his body to the limit. He won’t be back next season, and probably won’t be back for his career.”
Weber has five years left on the front-loaded 14-year, $110M offer sheet he signed with the Flyers in 2012 that was matched by the Predators. Four years later, Weber was dealt to Montreal for P.K. Subban. (We dove into cap implication here.)
“It was hard for Shea, it’s all he knows,” Bergevin said. “He’s a hockey player to the core. He’s been doing that all his life and it’s really hit hard to realize that he can no longer perform the way it’s expected for him and his teammates.
“The pain, he goes through daily. We had an emotional, deep conversation. I have a lot of respect for Shea for what he’s done for the Montreal Canadiens throughout his career. It will be impossible to replace Shea Weber. What he brings to our team on and off the ice — we’ll try our best, but I know deep down that you can never replace Shea Weber.”