Former Montreal Canadiens captain and Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Shea Weber sent out a thank you note to Montreal Canadiens fans via the team Friday.
After almost a year of NHL trade rumours surrounding him and his contract, Shea Weber was traded by the Montreal Canadiens early on Thursday evening. Just after 5:30 PM ET Thursday, the Montreal Canadiens announced that they had traded the now-former team captain to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Evgenii Dadonov. The Canadiens are now free from the final four seasons of Weber’s contract that carried a $7.8 million salary cap hit. They now inherit the final season of Dadonov’s three-year contract that he signed with the Ottawa Senators in the 2020 offseason and that carries a $5 million cap hit. As a result of the trade, the Canadiens have gained $2.8 million in cap space.
The #GoHabsGo acquired Dadonov (Yr 3/3 $5M Cap Hit, $6.5M Salary) from #VegasBorn for Shea Weber (4 Years left @ $7.86M Cap Hit, $6M Salary left).#VGK removes $5M Cap Hit for Dadonov & saves $500K Cash. Can put Weber on LTIR for no effective cap hit
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) June 16, 2022
In a press release linked in a tweet announcing the trade, Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes thanked Weber for his leadership and dedication to the team on and off the ice.
“First of all, I would like to thank Shea for all that he has done for and represented to the Montreal Canadiens,” Hughes said of Shea Weber, who has been the team’s captain since Oct. 1, 2018. “Not only was Shea an exceptional hockey player who played through significant injuries in an attempt to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal, he was also a great leader whose leadership will have a positive impact on our team well beyond his time with us. I also want to welcome Evgenii Dadonov to our organization. He is a talented forward who has produced at all levels since the start of his career.”
Weber was acquired by the Montreal Canadiens on June 29, 2016 in exchange for popular but polarizing defenceman P.K. Subban. It was one of the biggest and most controversial trades in the long and storied history of the Canadiens. But after the shock and controversy of moving Subban, a 2013 Norris Trophy winner and fan favourite, Weber quickly became a fan favorite for his grit and leadership. Weber registered 146 points (58 goals, 88 assists) in 275 games with the Montreal Canadiens and in 2020-21, he captained the team to its first Stanley Cup Final since 1993.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound, 36-year-old rearguard was originally drafted 49th overall by the Nashville Predators at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. In 1,038 NHL regular season games between the Canadiens and Predators, Weber has 224 goals and 365 assists and he has 18 goals and 24 assists in 97 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Here’s what Weber had to say to the fans and city he called home since 2016:
“Growing up playing hockey in Canada, it’s every kid’s dream to play in the NHL. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have not only done that, but to have had a chance to do so for a Canadian team and a member of the Original 6.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined playing for let alone being named captain of the Montreal Canadiens. Pulling on that legendary jersey every night was one of the greatest honours of my career and it’s something I appreciated every chance I got.
I want to thank my teammates, coaches, trainers, management, the entire organization, Geoff Molson and the Molson family, the Montreal media, and most of all, the fans for embracing me and my family and for making the city feel like a second home.
Montreal will always be in my heart.
Merci pour tout.”