Former Canadiens Captain Shea Weber Finally Traded To Arizona
The prophecy of former Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber’s landing with the Arizona Coyotes finally came true.
The Vegas Golden Knights announced having made the acquisition of defenceman Dysin Mayo in exchange for Shea Weber’s contract and a fifth-round pick in 2023.
It’s a move that’s been a long time coming, as Weber’s contract was almost acquired by the Coyotes last March before things fell through.
The deal ultimately fell through due to insurance issues with Wbwer’s contract.
Weber was eventually traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in the summer in exchange for Evgenii Dadonov, after it was confirmed that his contract was insured moving forward.
That means that the insurance will cover a major portion of his remaining $6M in salary over the next four seasons, making him simply an end to a means for the Golden Knights at the time.
However, Vegas ran into its own LTIR issue, as captain Mark Stone and his $9.5M cap hit was also put on LTIR, putting the Golden Knights in a very tight fiscal position.
Timing Was Off For Montreal Canadiens
As it turns out, the coverage of Weber’s contract was the major wrench in a prospective deal with the Arizona Coyotes, which fell through just before the 2022 NHL trade deadline.
At the time. the Coyotes didn’t want to pay for Weber’s full salary without a guarantee of the contract being insured.
TSN Insider Darren Dreger mentioned the issue in a segment on TSN 690 shortly at the end of the 2021-2022 season.
“It does get a little bit more complicated, as Kent Hughes alluded to in reference to Shea Weber because of insurance attachments,” said Dreger on why Shea Weber wasn’t moved prior to Trade Deadline. “That’s really the reason Weber’s contract didn’t get moved to the Arizona Coyotes. Just because there was more paperwork that needed to be done and more money that needed to be paid out.”
Dreger went into detail, pointing out that both Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens were ready to make a deal, but Arizona grew impatient and decided to go another route to acquire the contract of a player on career-ending Long Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) in the form of Bryan Little from Winnipeg.
“All parties felt very strongly that they were going to get something done (at Trade Deadline),” said Dreger on a Weber trade falling through prior to March 21. “It’s just insurance-related, and Kent Hughes kind of nibbled at it. They just needed more time and Arizona had other interests out there at the time and clearly moved on it.”
Kent Hughes gives an update on Shea Weber. #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/wSyp16MJV4
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 30, 2022
Timing Was Right For Vegas Golden Knights
Once the insurance issues were cleared up, moving Shea Weber became a far easier endeavour than last year’s trade deadline, and a team like Vegas then.
However, Stone going on LTIR made things a little difficult for the Vegas Golden Knights, who want to add some firepower now that their captain is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Having all that money tied up in LTIR didn’t offer them much flexibility, especially in the long-term, should further injuries to high-priced veterans resurface in the future; which was the same reason the Montreal Canadiens moved the contract in the first place.
In Arizona, it will help them maintain the salary cap floor of $61.5M even after the Coyotes move out some higher-salaried veterans over the next few days.
It will also allow them to spend less real dollars in the next couple of years, as Weber’s $7.8M cap hit will count only against the Coyotes cap structure and not their actual cash flow.
It was a match made in heaven dating back to last year, it just took a different path before coming to fruition.
That’s why I was so disappointed with the Dadonov trade. Weber’s contract has real value to teams. All last year I preached this exact idea. The actual money to be paid out over the 4 remaining years is $6M total, but the team that acquired Weber’s contract could get $7.8M in cap relief EACH year for the next 4 years. That’s a sweetheart deal for cash strapped teams trying to make it to the cap floor. That’s why I thought we should have been able to get a much better return than Dadonov in trading that contract. On the flip side, Price’s contract is the exact opposite. Sure, it might get a team $10.5M in cap relief, but it will cost a team huge real dollars to acquire it. He’s still owed over $30M in pay. That’s why that contract is untradeable imo. I cannot imagine any team wanting to fork over that kind of money right out of the owner’s pockets for a guy who will never play for his team regardless of the cap relief it may provide.