Sunday, November 10, 2019

Shea Weber Jersey Card

I've seen some of the all-time greats play, especially the top-six defensemen on the all-time powerplay scorers list (Ray Bourque, Al MacInnis, Rob Blake, Paul Coffey, Nicklas Lidstrom and Phil Housley), the next four a little less (Denis Potvin, Larry Murphy, Brian Leetch and Sergei Gonchar), and I've never seen the two best defensemen ever (Doug Harvey and Bobby Orr) play live, though I've seen old broadcasts, so I know for sure that Shea Weber isn't one of the ten best defensemen of all time.

But he certainly has one of the best point shots of all time, with MacInnis, Alex Ovechkin, Al Iafrate, Zdeno Chara, and Sheldon Souray.

His mighty slapper was on full display on Saturday as he scored a pair of goals with the man advantage to tie and pass Mathieu Schneider as the 11th most productive goal-scorer from the blue line in those conditions, as the Montréal Canadiens best the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.

The Canadiens captain is one marker from catching up with Gonchar (102) and might even catch Leetch (111) and Murphy (114) before the season's over, although that might be stretching it a bit. He's likely not going to continue producing at a rate that would bring him to 24 goals by year's end, and he might even get injured again; even putting aside the "what ifs", he has become a less effective defender, currently playing nearly three fewer minutes than his career average on the Habs' second pairing, so unless he starts playing all two minutes of every powerplay and coach Claude Julien doesn't mind trading in powerplay goals for the occasional short-hander going the other way, his offensive output will regress to his recent mean, 15-20 goals per 75-80 games. Which is nothing to scoff at.

And while his critics - among them myself - will point to the cost of his acquisition in a younger Norris winner on a shorter contract and the fact that his deal will take him until the end of time, he actually does bring a lot of leadership to that locker room, so much so that the captain that was in place when he got there (Max Pacioretty) was traded a year after his arrival because it became clear which player could best handle the pressure of wearing the "C" in a hockey-mad city and face critics every single day of the season.

Here he is wearing the letter with his previous team, the Nashville Predators and the worst jersey in the game, their yellow home uniform, on card #AF-SW from Upper Deck's 2013-14 SP Game-Used Edition collection and Authentic Fabrics sub-set:
It features a blue game-worn jersey swatch that probably comes from another uniform, though, either the blue alternate jersey of the blue home one that came before the yellow.

Also, because it becomes increasingly likelier to happen with each passing year, here is the breakdown per season of his cap recapture penalty, should he be bought out or retire early:
After this season, the Habs wouldn't be hurt at all, as only the Preds would be affected - more and more with each passing season.

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