Canadian: Weber’s complex file

On paper, Shea Weber is still the captain of the Montreal Canadiens. On paper, the number 6 remains an active player.

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But there is a difference between paperwork and reality. Since the fifth loss in the Stanley Cup final against Tampa Bay Lightning, Weber has not worn a CH jersey. He is unofficially retired except on the club and NHL books.

There would be financial consequences for the Canadian, but even more so for the Nashville Predators, should the miner officially resign. In this strange context, Weber has decided not to speak to the media and fans since the beginning of the season.

In Guy Lafleur’s absence during the Boston Bruins’ visit to the Bell Center on Sunday, Weber received widespread criticism for his decision not to make the trip to Montreal and to remain at his home in Kelowna, British Columbia.

However, he had one thought for the blonde demon’s family.

“Shea offered his condolences to Martin Lafleur, one of Guy’s two sons,” said Chantal Machabée, vice president of communications at Canadiens. He communicated via text message with a member of the organization in the hours after the death was announced last Friday to send a message to the family. »

A presence

Weber landed in the town of Maurice Richard on Thursday. Despite his presence on Quebec soil, he didn’t hit the media before today’s final game of the season against the Florida Panthers. However, he was on the ice before the puck was dropped a ceremony in honor of Pierre Gervais.

The captain could break the silence at the end-of-season show tomorrow, but there’s no certainty about that just yet. By October, Weber had reconnected with his Seattle teammates. He also made a hurricane visit to Montreal in November. In March, he found himself again following the team to a meeting in Vancouver. All three times he declined interviews.

However, his silence is not just a personal choice. Marc Bergevin, early in the season, Jeff Gorton, Kent Hughes and Geoff Molson are reluctant to expose him to questions. NHL leaders are watching this issue closely.

The Devils model

There was a very powerful image during Pat Burns’ funeral on November 29, 2010 at the Marie-Reine-du-monde Cathedral in Montreal. Lou Lamoriello, the Devils’ general manager at the time, had chartered a plane to bring all of the team’s players and coaches to the church.

For Lamoriello, it was a way to show the New Jersey club stood by a member of the Burns family. And the Devils didn’t play in Montreal that night or the next day.

When asked if the CH could emulate Lamoriello’s formula for burying a monument like Lafleur, Martin St-Louis spoke of the importance of this event.

” Yes, [j’aimerais voir une image semblable]’ said the head coach. It’s important to be there I think. It is to show respect to Guy, his family and the organization of Canadians and hockey. I expect many players. »

At the start of the game against the Panthers, CH confirmed Weber’s presence for this weekend’s state funeral and at Lafleur’s state funeral on Tuesday. The 36-year-old defender will also attend the team dinner on Sunday.

♦ Shea Weber will earn $3 million in the 2022-2023 season and $1 million in the following three seasons. At the salary cap, his footprint is $7.857 million. A team like the Arizona Coyotes fighting for the wage floor could benefit from such a contract in the coming months.

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