The Montreal Canadiens have named Shea Weber the 30th team captain in franchise history.
The team made the announcement Monday.
Weber replaces the outgoing Max Pacioretty, who served as captain of the Canadiens for three seasons before he was dealt to Vegas on September 10.
Weber may not see any action until December, as he’ll take about five to six months to recover from knee surgery. He had the surgery in June to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. In March, he had surgery to repair tendons in his left foot.
Forward Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher were named alternate captains.
Weber is the first defenceman to captain the Habs since Chris Chelios did it in 1989-1990.
Weber served as captain of the Nashville Predators from 2010-2016, right up to the point he was traded to the Canadiens for P.K. Subban.
“His work ethic is always the same, day after day,” Gallagher said of Weber. “That’s huge for our young players.”
In his two seasons with Montreal, Weber has amassed 58 points in 104 games. His 189 goals since the 2005-2006 season are first among defencemen, while he’s fourth in points in the same timeframe with 501. Only Brent Burns, Duncan Keith and Burns’ new teammate Erik Karlsson have more.
But for the Canadiens, this is all about guidance.
Weber is a management decision, as NBC Sports reports, and that’s a different approach for Montreal. This is a club that has let the players vote on captaincy, which led to the selection of Pacioretty. As of now, management is sending a message that Weber is their guy and that should have lasting resonance.
The Canadiens are hoping to turn things around this season and a lot of that accountability will fall on Weber.
Goalie Carey Price will have to return to form, too. He’s now in the first year of his eight-year contract and will have to reverse course on last season, when he went 16-26-7 with a .900 save percentage and his team landed well out of the post-season.
If the Habs get renewed goaltending from Price and work past the ousting of Pacioretty and other key players, the Weber captaincy will doubtlessly get off on the right foot.