A number of accidents may pressure Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber to the sidelines for everything of 2021-22 marketing campaign – and maybe for good. His potential absence raises the query of how they will substitute the 35-year-old defenseman.
The mix of nagging accidents and his age slowed Weber in recent times. However, he remained a blueline stalwart for the Canadiens, averaging 22:42 in ice time and netting 19 factors in 48 video games. They will miss his management, skilled defensive ability and bodily presence.
With $67.4 million invested in 15 gamers and free brokers resembling Phillip Danault, Corey Perry and Jesperi Kotkaniemi to re-sign or substitute, the Canadiens would not have sufficient cap area so as to add a top-two, right-side defenseman. Nonetheless, they may get $7.857 million in cap reduction by inserting Weber on long-term damage reserve if approval is obtained from the league.
Discovering an acceptable alternative, nevertheless, will not be simple.
Free-agent choices embody Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton, Edmonton’s Tyson Barrie and Tampa Bay’s David Savard. Hamilton and Barrie are expert puck-movers however their defensive sport is common at greatest. Hamilton may additionally value round $8 million yearly to signal. Savard is defensively accountable however lacks offensive abilities.
Ryan Suter grew to become obtainable this week when the Minnesota Wild purchased out his contract. He might be an inexpensive signing however the 36-year-old can also be a left-side blueliner.
Columbus’ Seth Jones is the distinguished right-side defenseman on Frank Seravalli’s checklist of this summer time potential commerce candidates for Daily Faceoff. The 26-year-old is a yr away from UFA standing and might be reluctant to signal a long-term contract extension earlier than subsequent summer time.
Different right-side defensemen on Servalli’s checklist embody Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen and Nashville’s Dante Fabbro.