Shea Weber, one of the most outstanding defencemen in the NHL, hit a career milestone Tuesday night as he played his 1,000th career game. The 6′-4″, 229-pound captain for the Montreal Canadiens has been a cornerstone for the defence since arriving in town.
Shea Weber of the @CanadiensMTL is the fifth defenseman from the 2003 #NHLDraft class to reach the 1,000-game milestone, following Ryan Suter (1,152), Brent Burns (1,121), Brent Seabrook (1,114) and Dion Phaneuf (1,048). #NHLStats: https://t.co/YKLXp1UnBM pic.twitter.com/RtVshIYCwJ
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 3, 2021
Shea Weber – Early Career
Weber has spent his early professional days with the Nashville Predators. Notching 443 points in 763 games played, Weber was a force in a stacked Nashville defence core. His former partner, Ryan Suter, also eclipsed the 1,000 career game mark back in the 2018 season. On the advanced side of things, Weber produced a whopping 135.1 expected goals above replacement (xGAR) from 07-16, suitable for 10th in that span. Additionally, he brought 108.6 goals above replacement (GAR) to the table. He ranks 20th over that same period. Weber was named the Nashville Predators captain in 2010 and held the position until 2016. In his tenure, Weber could easily be classified as the face of the franchise in Nashville. Either him or goaltender Pekka Rinne were the top choices.
Shea Weber’s Later Career
In the 2016 NHL offseason, Weber was traded to Montreal in a one for one deal involving P.K. Subban. It was a trade that rocked the hockey world among other colossal news, like the Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall trade. Since joining Montreal, Weber has tallied 133 points in 236 games, including 54 goals. Weber has totalled a 47.8 xGAR from 16-21 for 44th in the league in the advanced stats department. Furthermore, he has tallied a 12.8 GAR over that span, which ranks 326th. Injuries and the gradual effect of age are both contributing factors to this drop off in production. Nonetheless, Weber helped with the culture and defence core in Montreal. He soon became the 30th captain in Montreal Canadiens history and has become a guiding presence for the younger players in rebuilding.
An Overlook of Shea Weber’s Career
Weber has had a massive effect on the hockey community in both Nashville and Montreal. In Nashville, he was a reason more fans started to pay attention to the game during a period of dwindling attendance. He brought size, physicality, grit, and skill night in and night out. Weber played with an intense tenacity, which helped him become a fan favourite.
The same can be said for his impact in Montreal. He has become a staple of the Habs’ blueline and defence core. He’s a veteran leader during a rebuild, which has proven to pay off. Guys like Nick Suzuki know they can look to him for advice. Weber has proven repeatedly that he is a great leader and an imposing presence on the ice. From bone-crushing hits to blistering slapshots, Weber has been a staple of the NHL since his early time in Nashville.