Shea Weber has officially bid farewell to the Montreal Canadiens.
On Friday, the former Habs captain shared a message through the team's website, delving into his time in Montreal and thanking the fans and organization after he was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights.
"Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined playing for let alone being named captain of the Montreal Canadiens," the statement read. "Pulling on that legendary jersey every night was one of the greatest honours of my career and it's something I appreciated every chance I got.
"I want to thank my teammates, coaches, trainers, management, the entire organization, Geoff Molson and the Molson family, the Montreal media, and most of all, the fans for embracing me and my family and for making the city feel like a second home."
The 36-year-old was dealt to Vegas for forward Evgenii Dadonov in what likely is a salary dump type of move. Weber missed all of a last season, dealing with numerous injuries, and is unlikely to ever play in the NHL again. His last game came in Game 5 of the 2021 Stanley Cup final, when the Canadiens lost the series to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Weber's $7.8 million AAV was placed on long-term injury reserve last season, and will likely get the same treatment in Vegas, meaning that the Golden Knights can exceed the salary cap despite his salary counting against the team's overall cap hit. With Carey Price's health and playing future in jeopardy, the Canadiens could have been carrying almost $20 million in LTIR money next season, which was a big reason behind the trade, according to Habs general manager Kent Hughes.
Meanwhile, by sending Dadonov to Montreal, Vegas is dumping the Russian's $5 million cap hit. With only one year left on his current deal, Dadonov could very well be a trade piece for Hughes.
In five seasons with the Canadiens, Weber scored 58 goals and registered 88 assists for 146 points in 275 games.
"Growing up playing hockey in Canada, it's every kid's dream to play in the NHL. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have not only done that, but to have had a chance to do so for a Canadian team and a member of the Original 6.
"Montreal will always be in my heart."
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