Montreal Canadiens’ captain Shea Weber will miss at least four weeks of play after rumors surfaced that his injury could be career-threatening.
The status of Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman Shea Weber is no longer in limbo. On Wednesday, the Canadiens announced that Weber will miss between four and six weeks of playing time with a left ankle sprain.
For nearly a week, Weber’s injury status had been unclear after the 34-year-old was put on injured reserve for a lower body injury in early February. Earlier on Wednesday, reports surfaced from Nick Kypreos that threw doubt on the longevity of Weber’s playing career, as the injury was believed to be season-ending, if not career-ending at first blush.
Other insider reports across the NHL pointed to a severe injury, with TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting on Tuesday that it is “not at all encouraging in terms of him playing any time soon.”
Instead, Canadiens fans can breathe a small sigh of relief that Weber’s injury is not as devastating as first reported.
However, the loss of Weber for at least the next four weeks is a significant blow to the Canadiens. This season, Weber has seen a resurgence in his play, putting up 34 points — and 13 goals — in 55 games, a pace that would have had him hitting 50 points for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
While the Canadiens have gone 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, Montreal’s playoff odds, as of Wednesday, sit in the single digits. Weber’s loss for at least the next month puts a major damper in the Canadiens’ playoff hopes, and ups their chances of being potential sellers at the upcoming trade deadline.
Weber has six years left on a 14-year, $110 million deal that was signed in July 2012 as an offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers. At the time, Weber was a member of the Nashville Predators before he was shipped to Montreal in a one-for-one deal with P.K. Subban in the summer of 2016.
At the earliest, Weber is set to return in mid-March for Montreal. By then, however, the Canadiens’ playoff hopes will likely be extinguished within the weeks to come.
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