By JD Lagrange – News about Shea Weber have been sparse since the Canadiens’ captain has been sidelined with injuries. While some blame the organization’s lack of transparency, others blame the player for not meeting with the media. However, the reality is that Weber is on LTIR and everything he does or says is closely monitored by both the NHL and the insurance company paying him.
On his show, Félix Séguin spoke to three former teammates of Shea Weber who provided some insight on their captain’s health status during last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
According to Paul Byron, Shea Weber shouldn’t have played a single game as he was in such bad shape.
“Honestly, I don’t even know how he managed to play. He broke his thumb blocking a shot at the end of the season. We thought that his season was over, but he insisted to play”, said Byron. “In addition, he had a knee, a hip and an ankle injury. He played with a broken ankle for too long, it caused serious damage.”
In spite of all that, Weber never complained.
“You never knew he was in pain. He showed up every day, did his job the best he could without a peep. He’s the ultimate warrior. He displayed enormous courage,” added Byron.
Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault were also extremely impressed by the level of character displayed by the veteran defenseman.
“We knew what Shea had to go through all season and since the beginning of his career. We had heard that he shouldn’t have played in the playoffs, but it was obvious that he wouldn’t miss a single game”, said Gallagher. “He always pushes his body to the limit. He’s a true warrior.”
“His entire life, he sacrificed his body”, added Danault. “He always gave it all, heart and soul. He was on a mission in the playoffs. He was a huge part of our success. It’s sad that Weber will likely have to retire like that.”
Officially however, Weber has yet to share his intention to hang the skates for good. He hasn’t played since the team’s elimination against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals last July.
As his career is seemingly over, it was his last chance to raise the famous trophy over his head. That’s why players were so disappointed to have failed winning it.
“Everyone wanted to win for him and for Carey Price. We wanted to give it all for them”, said Byron. “You never know when you’ll live that again. Careers pass so quickly. It seemed like it was my first NHL game yet, it’s been more than 10 years. We never know how many years we have left in our career.”
“I felt horrible for him and for Price”, added Gallagher. “We wanted to win for them. They did so much for us, we would have liked to do more for them.”
Danault mentions that it wasn’t a matter of effort.
“We gave it all we had, that’s for sure.”