Connect with us

Montreal Canadiens

D’Amico: Shea Weber Has Earned His Right To Privacy

Published

on

Montreal Canadiens

Shea Weber is unofficially retired, and his physical presence is not required in order for the Montreal Canadiens’ young roster to grow. He has been the unquestioned leader of the Canadiens for half a decade, and his legacy lives on through the youngsters that had and continue to have the privilege of being around him early in their careers.

Much ink has been spilled over the last year regarding Shea Weber’s absence from the team this season, as he was placed on Long-Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) at the start of the season. Former general manager Marc Bergevin let it be known that Weber would likely never play hockey again; news that likely crushed the proud and stoic rearguard, who played his entire career through incredible pain.

This past Monday, the Montreal Gazette‘s Brendan Kelly brought up the fact that Weber’s presence has been lacking during this difficult season, as the team floundered without a sense of leadership during the first half of the season. He pointed to the lack of public presence, especially towards the fans, as being particularly problematic.

“Shea Weber has not uttered a word to his fans since the end of last season nor appeared publicly at the Bell Centre. The captain of the Canadiens is showing contempt for his fans and his team,” said Kelly on Twitter this past Monday.

No Explanation Needed From The Montreal Canadiens Captain

Kelly also points to Weber’s status as the current Montreal Canadiens captain being problematic, as he has not addressed fans and wasn’t present during the team’s opening night, where all players of the club are introduced to the fans.

“It really is outrageous. Weber is still captain of the Canadiens. Yet he hasn’t appeared publicly this season at the Bell Centre, not even for opening night when all of the players were introduced, and he has not uttered a word to journalists since the playoffs ended.”

Shea Weber gave his body and soul for the Bleu Blanc Rouge in a literal fashion. Weber sacrificed his career in order to come back during the 2020-2021 playoffs and lead the Canadiens to the Finals, despite playing on a career-ending injury to his ankle, along with a slew of other ailments. Like most of what Weber did in his career, he let his work on the ice do the talking; and, to be fair, I think he’s shown this fanbase everything they need to know about his situation with the way his teammates saluted him after losing in the Stanley Cup Finals last year. He played through incredible pain that has forced one of the proudest and toughest players of his generation to have to call it quits.

There isn’t much more that needs to be explained in this situation, as Bergevin had already spoken at length about Weber’s reality. It’s an extremely tough situation that other great players like Chris Pronger or Ryan Kesler have had to go through without once having to come out in a press conference to address the fans about their medical conditions.

When Chris Pronger went down with a career-ending head injury in Philadelphia early in the 2011-2012 season, there was no press conference involved nor was Pronger at the Flyers’ opening game at Wells Fargo Centre at the start of the 2012-2013 season. The Flyers began the season with Pronger still listed as captain, and then retroactively removed him from his functions once Claude Giroux was named captain in January of 2013; 14 months after Prongers’ last game.

It’s extremely common for players on career-ending LTIR to not attend club events, as we’ve seen in the past with the likes of Pronger, Kesler, Hossa, etc. Players on Injury Reserve are, however shown before the players are introduced on the ice. With Weber still on the books, he has been tasked by the Canadiens to undertake several scouting assignments in western Canada, and it will prove very valuable as the WHL has a strong crop of players coming up for the 2022 NHL Draft.

 

 

Weber Staying In The Loop

Weber has made the treck back to Montreal a few times to be with his teammates prior to the Covid-19 lockdowns from mid-December to mid-February. He has maintained contact with his teammates and continues to offer them advice from a distance.

“Guys are in contact with him everyday and he reaches out and asks how things are going,” said Gallagher to reporters at the start of the season.

Furthermore, Weber has joined the Canadiens every time they’ve made the trip to the West coast, most recently last month during their Canadian west-coast trip. This is much more involvement, despite already having scouting tasks given to him by the club, than any other LTIR player has shown in recent memory, which again speaks to Weber’s character.

Ultimately, the outrage remains rather peculiar, as Kelly himself opined how Weber and goaltender Carey Price were no longer needed on the team in May of 2021, prior to the Canadiens Stanley Cup run. Now, the lack of presence, which is par for the course on LTIR players that can no longer play hockey, has become a problem to some?

Food for thought.

Weber’s contract is likely to be moved in the summer according to general manager Kent Hughes, so this debate will blow over very quickly. In fact, Weber’s contract was almost moved before the March 21st Deadline, and would have left the Canadiens officially without a captain. So, if the NHL executives view Shea Weber as a retired player who’s contract is the only part of him left in the NHL at this time, why should he be expected to account for himself or the team as if he were still playing.

The reality of the situation is simple: Shea Weber has earned his retirement and the Canadiens have him listed as captain out of respect.

 

 

4 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rick L.

Brenden Kelly is not worthy of listening to. His whole schtick is to be negative, regardless of the facts. He is a no-talent hack who tries to get attention by being a negative Nelly. Let’s all just ignore him as his takes are stupid and just meant to do nothing else but get attention.

habbernack

BK is a fool. Not worth reading. It’s better to just appear stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. He hated the trade for PK.

Andrew

Awesome article. Weber is a living legend and deserves the utmost respect.

Shea Weber

Excellent article. I gave up reading Kelly’s columns 2 years ago. Pure garbage.

Montreal Hockey Now in your Inbox

Get the latest breaking news, opinion and analysis from the Montreal Hockey Now team directly in your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.