30 Greats in 30 Days: Shea Weber

Reddit.com/r/hockey are doing an NHL great per team per day. They voted on Weber for the Nashville Predators and I ended up doing the write up for the post. I have shared it here for those who may be interested. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to hit me up on twitter or Reddit with comments! @canadaspredsfan /u/KakunaUsedHarden. Here's a link to all the threads so far: http://www.reddit.com/r/hockey/wiki/30greats30days

Position: Defenseman, Shoots Right

Drafted: 2003, 2nd Round, 49th overall Drafted after the following defenceman:

  • Ryan Suter (7th Nashville)
  • Brayden Coburn (8th Atlanta)
  • Dion Phaneuf (9th Calgary)
  • Brent Seabrook (14th Chicago)
  • Mark Stuart (21st Boston)
  • Shawn Belle (30th St Louis)
  • Mike Egener (33rd Dallas)
  • Kevin Klein (37th Nashville)
  • Tim Ramhold (39th Calgary)
  • Matt Smaby (41st Tampa Bay)
  • Matt Carle (48th San Jose)
  • Seriously, Nashville used their first five picks on 4 Defensemen and a Russian who never played an NHL game. Can you get anymore Nashvilly?

Contract 14 years (till he’s 42), 110 Million.

Team: Nashville Predators : 2005 – Current

NHL Seasons: 8 seasons

Career Stats:

GP G A P +/- PIM
528 108 183 291 42 417

Just need to preface this by saying that my homeboy Webs has shot the puck clean through the net. And I’m not talking about your cheap ass Cad-tire discount rack backyard net. Nah holmes, this was at the legit-as-shit Olympics.


Weber only played one season with the Kelowna Rockets before being ranked 54th overall by the International Scouting Service in 2003, despite only have 18 points in 70 games. He did however spend his first WHL season dedicated to asserting a physical presence, picking up 167 penalty minutes in the process.

Drafted by the Predators, he spent the next two seasons in Kelowna where he significantly improved his offensive stats, getting 32 points in 60 games and 41 points in 55 games respectively. He also had 17 points during his 17 games of the 2004 playoff campaign. Weber didn’t last long in the AHL, being called up on January 6th during his first year of eligibility; he played 22 games in the NHL and 46 in Milwaukee.

In 2006-07 Weber had his breakout season. Playing in 79 NHL games, Weber had 40 points and a +/- of 14. He was ranked eighth in points for the Predators and was tied for 4th in Powerplay goals. Weber’s defensive partner switched between Marek Zidlicky and, already in 2006, Ryan Suter. In 2008, rolling off a new contract, Weber became the top pairing with Ryan Suter and they began to establish themselves as the best defensive pairing in the league. He would play in his first all-star game, lead the Predators in Power Play goals, break the record for Goals scored by a Predators defenseman and finish 4th in Norris voting. Weber, at 24, became the fifth captain of the Nashville Predators on July 8th 2010. He had become an on ice monster, a fan favorite, and a face of the Franchise. Shea Weber is arguably the first Predators player to turn heads around the league (Timonen and Vokoun were good, but I don’t think they had this effect). He had made two all-star teams, was receiving Norris votes (and the odd Hart Vote) annually and had won a Gold Medal with Team Canada. That season Weber would again contribute in every aspect of the game, averaging 25:19 minutes of ice time. He also had 8 points in 12 Playoff games, including a game tying goal in the dying seconds of a pivotal game 5 vs Anaheim.

Weber would be a back to back Norris finalist in 2011 and 2012 Weber has only missed 9 games since the start of the 2008 season. Since his sophomore season in 2006, he has only missed more than 4 games in one season.

Contract Woes

During the 2012 offseason, traditionally stingy Poile tried to save every penny in dealing with Weber’s contract, and the negotiations dragged on until Weber signed a very aggressive contract with Philadelphia. The contract was designed to hurt the Predators. In an untraditional market, it’s not easy to just “find” the 13 million up front, recurring signing bonus, over the next four years, and the Flyers org. knew this. Now many NHL fans state that “clearly Weber signed this because he hates being a Predator and wants out”. I think I speak for most Predator fans when I tell them to promptly cover themselves in honey and go play in a hornets nest.

Here’s our (generalized by me) stance. If Weber really wanted out, he wouldn’t have signed a 14 year RFA contract, knowing very well that the Predators could match it and then he would be “stuck” in Nashville. That would be silly. What Weber did know is that he would never get the contract he deserved with Poile, and this was evident through ongoing negotiations. Let’s not forget, Poile was the man who said “We’ll sign Weber, whatever it takes” to the public, but then was apparently low balling Weber behind the scenes. So Weber acted how anyone shopping for a used car would, he got a quote from a different dealer. It was a quick way for him to get the money he wanted.

Anyway, that’s why we think he signed the offer sheet. I understand if you have a different opinion, and Preds fans feel free to contradict me in the comments. But no, he didn’t want out so bad. He did what he had to to get the money he deserved. The important part is that it seems that Weber, the Fans and the Organization have put it all behind them and Weber seems genuinely happy in Nashville.

Ryan Suter and Shea Weber

…we’re the best NHL pairing in the NHL from 2010 – 2012. Weber will sit your ass down if he gets the chance, will drop the gloves if he feels the need, and he has an incredibly powerful, surreally accurate shot. He has a lot of defensive skill but is most effective when able to leverage his body.

Suter is a very skilled, very slick defense first defenseman. His body is seldom proactively in the game, but he is still a solid enough to not get pushed around. Tactically and positionally he is near perfection. And he has the hands of a Japanese Masseuse.

They were both drafted by the Predators in 03, progressed through the Preds together and were already occasional linemates by 2006. He was the Ying to Weber’s Yang, the Coca to his Cola, the Peanut butter and one slice of bread to his Nutella and other slice of bread. They both saw a decline last year in their first season. Weber’s powerplay production dropped significantly as the Preds powerplay fell from first in the league for PP% in 2011-2012 to 17th in 12-13.

Suter maintained his great passing in Minnesota, but was pushed around a bit more without a defensive partner who could really dominate the physical play.

They will both fall into form with a new pairing, but Suter leaving on free agency broke up the best defensive pairing in the NHL. No questions asked.


  • Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Detroit… It’s not fair to say that the Weber head smashing incident was a personal attack on Zetterberg. Shea was just blind raging and grabbed the closest red shirt. Seeing the Red Wings 8 times a season followed by 2 playoffs rounds (three, but two that involved Weber) will do that to you.*
  • Mark Fistric
  • Going to have to say Ryan Suter. There is still a lot of mutual respect and I don’t think it really carries onto an on-ice rivalry. But I think Weber was quite hurt by Suter leaving the organization. Suter sorta quit on the Preds when it was going so well for the team and, as linemates, I imagine that the two had at least somewhat of a friendship.
  • His own teammates. He keeps injuring them with his slapshots. Jordin Tootoo, Steve Sullivan, Martin Erat, David Legwand , Patric Hornqvist and others have all missed games due to a Weber slapshot. The 5 I mentioned all had broken bones too. There's no 'Shea' in team.

Career Achievements:

  • 2 time, consecutive, Norris first Runner up (2011, 2012)
  • Gold Medal with Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics
  • Franchise Best 49 Power-play goals
  • Played in three Consecutive All star games
  • Second hardest shot in the league since 2009, losing to Zdeno Chara each time. Definitely the hardest shot per body capita.
  • Gold medal with the 2005 Canada World Junior team.
  • Tournament all star at the 2009 IIHF World Championships
  • 2005 WHL playoff MVP


Extra Information:

  • His father was a Sawmill Worker and his mother a Hairdresser. I love this little tidbit. This was just a normal kid who made it big. Sometimes if you work hard at things, dreams can come true… us normal people can make it in life too.
  • Helps organize the Sicamous Shootout, an annual golf tournament that benefits the British Columbia Cancer Society.
  • Appeared in a You Can Play video
  • A constant suggestion in the “What should we name our first son” discussion with the fiancée, along with Pekka.