Weber’s departure would be a feather in the Habs salary cap – .

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Weber’s departure would be a feather in the Habs salary cap – .


It might sound counterintuitive, but the best case scenario would be for the defenseman and his $ 7,857,143 hit to quit next season.

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There will come a time when Canadians will be grateful to GM Marc Bergevin for signing a long-term contract with Nick Suzuki before he retires to become a fashion consultant at PK Subban. But that time will not be next summer.

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That’s because Suzuki’s US $ 7.875 million cap will contribute to a major squeeze in the salary cap for Canadians during the 2022-2023 season.

“It will be tight,” conceded a Habs insider.

This is called an understatement.

The salary cap is expected to rise to $ 82.5 million next season, but the Canadiens have pledged $ 84,047,143. That only covers 18 players, plus the latest installment from the Karl Alzner buyout.

The Canadians have just four defensemen under contract and the unsigned players include restricted free agents Artturi Lehkonen and Alexander Romanov.

It might seem counterintuitive, given his absence is felt on and off the ice, but the best-case scenario would be for Captain Shea Weber to go out at sunset and take his cap of $ 7,857,143 with him.

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If Weber’s numerous injuries prevented him from playing, the Canadiens would be entitled to long-term redress and his hat-trick would go away.

While there has been no update on the exact nature of his injuries and no word on whether he had surgery, it is evident that Weber is feeling the accumulated effects of 16 seasons of wear and tear. Other than a primitive urge to compete, Weber and his family have little incentive to uproot themselves from their home in Kelowna, British Columbia, and further endanger their health. The contract he signed with Nashville in 2012 was initial, meaning he will only receive $ 3 million in 2022-23 and $ 1 million for each of the remaining three years of the deal. Once you deduct the taxes and put it on deposit, Weber would risk his health for peanuts. Or maybe cashews.

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If Weber wants to continue playing, it would be in the team’s best interests to trade him. The veteran would be a welcome addition to any team’s locker room and would be attractive to a team that needs to raise their cap without spending a lot of money.

It might seem cold to move Weber after everything he’s done for this team but, as anyone involved in the game will tell you, it’s a business.

There is nothing special: The Canadians trained in the gymnasium on Friday but maybe they would have been better off going on the ice and working with their special teams.

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It’s still early days, but we have to worry about the power play, which is 0 on 8, and the shorthand unit, which has allowed four goals on nine occasions.

With the staff on hand, the power play should improve as players develop chemistry and the addition of injured sniper Mike Hoffman will make a difference. The Canadians need to be more efficient entering the zone and they need to put the pucks in the net.

In Thursday’s game against Buffalo, Montreal had a two-man advantage for 26 seconds and the first penalty expired before Jeff Petry shot. There was a two-man 1:44 advantage Wednesday over Toronto and the Canadians only managed one shot on goal and blocked three shots.

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As for the PK, they played a crucial role in the team’s success in the playoffs, but Montreal lacks four key players in that unit: goaltender Carey Price, Phillip Danault, Paul Byron and Weber. Price and Byron should be back at some point, but this is one area where the Canadiens will realize how much they miss Danault.

Where have all the people gone? With the exception of Vancouver, NHL teams are free to host full crowds, but some fans are reluctant to mingle with the crowd even if everyone is fully vaccinated.

As the Canadiens expect a full house for the home opener against the Rangers on Saturday (19 h, SNE, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98,5 FM) , none of Montreal’s season opener road games have sold out. There were 1,500 unsold tickets for Wednesday’s game in Toronto and only 8,467 fans showed up for Thursday’s game in Buffalo. The Sabers have missed thousands of Canadiens fans who usually cross the border from southern Ontario, while local fans have low expectations for the Sabers and reserve most of their affection for the NFL Bills.

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