Canadiens' Shea Weber out for year with torn tendon in left foot
Montreal's star defenceman slated to undergo surgery
Shea Weber's season is over.
The Montreal Canadiens announced Thursday that the veteran defenceman will miss the rest of the season as he undergoes surgery for a torn tendon in his left foot. The 32-year-old has not played since Dec. 16.
It is the second time in the last three seasons the Canadiens have lost a star player for the season. In 2015-16, it was goaltender Carey Price with a knee injury.
In both cases, the player was expected back within weeks of the injury, only to see his absence drag on until he was finally shut down for the season.
Weber is believed to have been injured when hit by a shot in the opening game of the regular season. Coach Claude Julien said this week that Weber played through the pain until he had to come out of the lineup. He skated in 20 of the first 21 games, took six games off, then played six more before going on the injured list for good.
Canadiens struggle in Weber's absence
The team said surgery will be required because the injury didn't heal as expected.
"After further exams, and a consultation on Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisconsin with specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, and with Shea's approval, it has been determined that he should undergo surgery and will be out for the reminder of the season," team orthopedic surgeon Paul Martineau said in a statement.
"Our medical group will work with Shea to ensure he is pursuing the best course of treatment moving forward, and we expect him to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of training camp next season. The length of his recovery will be determined following surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Anderson."
The Canadiens have struggled with their top defenceman either hampered by injury early in the season or out of the lineup since December. As when Price was injured two seasons ago, they are unlikely to make to the playoffs.
The Canadiens obtained Weber from the Nashville Predators on June 29, 2016 in a one-for-one deal for rearguard P. K. Subban, a deeply unpopular move with many Canadiens fans. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin preferred Weber's size, physicality and leadership to Subban's skillful but sometimes risky style.
Weber also brings perhaps the NHL's hardest point shot on power plays.
The Sicamous, B.C. native has six goals and 10 assists in 26 games this season. He has 189 goals and 501 points in 867 career NHL contests.