The 2018-19 season may only be Shea Weber’s third with the Canadiens, but the team naming Weber as its new captain on Monday shouldn’t really come as a shock to anyone. At 33, Weber is the second-most senior player on the Canadiens behind center Tomas Plekanec. Weber was also an alternate captain in his first two seasons with the team, so the promotion isn’t out of left field.
He’ll be stepping into the skates of former Canadien Max Pacioretty, to the Vegas Golden Knights Pacioretty, 29, was the team’s captain for three years. With Weber under contract until 2026, the team shouldn’t have to worry about more turnover any time soon.
Weber is one of the seven captains in the Nashville Predators‘ 21-year history, wearing the “C” from 2010 until he was traded to the Canadiens in 2016 for P.K. Subban. In his first two seasons with the Canadiens, Weber has 23 goals and 35 assists. Seventeen of those goals came in his first season, in which he played 78 games. His offensive impact was big for the Canadiens, who made the postseason after posting 103 points, good for first in the Atlantic division. However, the Canadiens would lose in six games to the New York Rangers. Weber had three points in six games.
In 2017, the team took a big step back. With Weber missing most of the season with a torn tendon in his foot, the Canadiens missed the playoffs with 71 points — the third worst record in the Eastern Conference. They finished ahead of the Senators and the Sabres.
Weber will look to get the Canadiens back to 2016 form, but things are very different than they were just two years ago. In a conference with the Maple Leafs, Bruins, Lightning and, of course, the defending champion Capitals, there are no easy routes to the Stanley Cup. However, Weber’s appointment makes sense from another angle: Weber made the playoffs seven times with the Predators, so he’s a veteran presence in the locker room in multiple ways. As the Canadiens look to take the next step, Weber seems like the perfect player to help them take it.