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Canadiens Name Shea Weber New Captain Even Though He’ll Miss Most Of Season

Defenceman Shea Weber has been named the 30th captain in the history of the Montreal Canadiens, the team announced Monday morning.

The captaincy opened up after the Habs dealt sniper Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights, ending his three years of donning the "C." Weber was an alternate captain for the Canadiens in each of his first two years with the team.

The 33-year-old Weber - renowned for his excellent leadership and humble personality - had to be an easy choice for the Canadiens. He was captain of the Nashville Predators from 2010-11 to 2015-16, before getting traded to the Montreal Canadiens for P.K. Subban two summers ago.

That being said, it will be a while until Weber first takes the ice as the new captain. He underwent surgery to fix a torn meniscus in the right knee and is expected to be out until at least December. But when he returns, there will be a new leader steering the ship, trying to help Montreal rebound from one of its worst seasons in years.

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Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In his first season with the Canadiens, Weber scored 17 goals and 42 points, leading the team to its second Atlantic Division title in three years. A foot injury cut Weber's 2017-18 season short, however, as he appeared in just 26 games. He still managed six goals and 16 points.

With the Canadiens struggling through all of 2017-18, many questioned and/or criticized the lack of leadership of Pacioretty. With only one year left on his contract, it was obvious that the Habs were going to move on from the perennial 30-goal scorer, and that a new captain was needed.

Weber has been one of the NHL's top defencemen for a decade now, and he elevates the play of the team with his superb defensive play and quality leadership skills. The decision to name him the captain wasn't a surprise, but the pressure is now on Weber to help this team turn a corner.

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