Jonathan Drouin isn’t great at keeping secrets.
Last week Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said that it a “long shot,” that captain Shea Weber plays again and today, Drouin confirmed that his teammate has retired.
Speaking in French in Seattle after the morning skate, Drouin said that Weber had retired and that it isn’t a secret to anyone.
When Bergevin said that the team had a plan that they were laying out for Weber, nobody was sure what his new role would entail. It sounds like scouting could be in the longtime defenseman’s future.
“He’s doing some scouting, he’s with Marc (Bergevin), he’s doing some other things right now,” said Drouin.
Nothing has officially changed with Weber’s status; he hasn’t filed retirement papers and remains on the long term injured list.
The news comes with Montreal’s highest paid defenseman visiting the team in Seattle and attending the Seattle Seahawks against the New Orleans Saints Monday Night Football matchup. The plan is for Weber to spend a couple days with the team before heading back to his home in British Columbia on Wednesday.
The injury forcing Weber into retirement is an ankle issue that’s been plaguing him for several seasons. He will continue to try to rehabilitate the injury, an ankle specialist has said that it can’t be corrected by surgery. Hall Of Famer Peter Forsberg notably had the same ailment and was forced into an early retirement in 2011.
Montreal’s captain did have surgery on the tendon in 2018 and missed two weeks in February 2020. Knowing that his playing days were numbered, Weber lead the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final and three wins away for hoisting the trophy.
The night the Canadiens were eliminated felt like the team was saying their final on-ice goodbye, each player shaking Weber’s hand before leaving the ice surface the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.
Looking back, it’s a good thing that the Canadiens killed off a four-minute penalty taken by Weber in the final minute of game five for high sticking Ondrej Palat of the Lightning. After the big kill, Josh Anderson scored in overtime and the image of Weber’s career wasn’t walking out of the penalty box costing his team a shot at the Stanley Cup.
Weber’s contract carries a cap-hit of $7.857 and runs through the 2026 season. Because of cap recapture penalties, it’s best for everyone involved (including the Nashville Predators), that he waits until the contract expires before making anything official.