Shea Weber has already retired, just not officially, says Jonathan Drouin
Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber. (File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens Captain Shea Weber is already out of the game, according to one of his teammates, even if he hasn't announced it yet.
Forward Jonathan Drouin said at a press briefing Tuesday that Weber, a top defenceman, is already working behind the scenes and has decided to hang up his skates for good.
In the summer, the Habs announced that Weber wouldn't play this season due to an injury.
Earlier on Tuesday, the team's official Twitter account posted a video of him wearing a suit and visiting teammates around the time of their morning skate, and ahead of their match with the Seattle Kraken that night.
"Papa!" said the caption on the video. Weber, 36, has played with the Habs for five years and has represented Canada in two Olympic games and other international forums.
In the press conference, Drouin said that Weber is now working "in the background" and helping the managers.
"He does scouting, he helps Marc (Bergevin)," Drouin said.
"He retired, basically... everyone knows that now. He's not coming back for us, he's moving on, and hockey, that's over."
When pressed on whether Weber had announced his retirement to teammates, Drouin said no, but added that "he did not tell us directly like that, but I think that we now know it, sort of. This is the reality."
Drouin's remarks took the team's staff by surprise. Spokesperson Paul Wilson told media that Weber is on the team's long-term injured list and that he has not retired.
Earlier this month, chief executive Marc Bergevin said Weber didn't undergo surgeries to treat his many injuries over the summer but added that he was still unable to return to training.
Weber has a long-term foot and ankle issue.
Bergevin said at the time that the #6 player will not be back in action this season. He also said there was little hope of seeing him in uniform again one day.
However, Bergevin said, his group is missing Weber's presence.
--With files from The Canadian Press