The seven-time All-Star defenseman Shea Weber is unlikely to play in the NHL again. However, that didn’t stop the Montreal Canadiens from trading him to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.
In reality, the Golden Knights actually acquired Weber’s contract and have no expectation that the 36-year-old will even suit up for them. As part of the deal, Vegas sent forward Evgenii Dadonov to Montreal.
Weber has been with the Canadiens since 2016 and has served as the team’s captain since 2018. He didn’t play at all during the 2021–22 season due to various injuries and hinted several times that his career was likely over. Montreal placed him on the long-term injured reserve list as a result.
In a statement that followed the news, the Canadiens’ general manager Kent Hughes thanked Weber for “all that he has done for and represented to the Montreal Canadiens.”
“Not only was Shea an exceptional hockey player who played through significant injuries in an attempt to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal, but he was also a great leader whose leadership will have a positive impact on our team well beyond his time with us,” Hughes added.
The Golden Knights’ motivation for the deal was to get some badly needed salary-cap relief. This is possible due to relief provided to the teams with players on the long-term injury list.
The Canadiens, on the other hand, get some depth in the forward position with Dadonov. The 33-year-old wrapped up the past season with 20 goals and 23 assists.