In a move that was not a surprise to many but was acclaimed by all, Shea Weber was named captain of the Nashville Predators. A highly appreciative crowd at the Bridgestone Arena rose in thunderous applause when David Poile made the announcement at the Predator's annual "Skate of the Union" event on Thursday night.
After putting on the Predator's sweater with the "C" on it, Weber was asked how it felt and he said, "It's a little heavy." He probably was unaware of how much truth there was in his response. While the "C" is quite an honor, it does place the weight of the team on the player wearing it at times.
Both David Poile and Barry Trotz indicated that it was a "short conversation" when they discussed awarding the captaincy to Weber. It was clear to anyone who follows the Predators that when former captain Jason Arnott was traded to New Jersey last month, that Weber would be the next in line.
Here is the full test of the release from the Predators...
SHEA WEBER NAMED CAPTAIN OF THE NASHVILLE PREDATORS
- Becomes fifth captain in franchise history, the first to be drafted and developed by the Predators -
Nashville, Tenn. (July 8, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that defenseman Shea Weber has been named the fifth captain in franchise history. He is the first Predators draftee to receive the honor.
“In addition to being one of the top young defenseman in the League today, Shea is a natural leader, and we are confident he has the respect of his teammates, opponents, the Predators organization and its fans,” Poile said. “He becomes the first Predators draft pick to be named captain, and has been part of the culture and belief system we have worked hard to create.”
Weber, 24 (8/14/85), is regarded as one of the top blueliners in the game today, posting the second-most goals at the position since the start of the 2006-07 season (62, Washington’s Mike Green has 70), while also being a dominant physical presence. The Sicamous, B.C., native has tied for second in NHL defensemen tallies the past two seasons, posting a franchise-record 23 tallies in 2008-09, tied for the fourth-highest goal output by a d-man since the 1994-95 season while potting 16 more in 2009-10. He’s also one of just two d-men to post at least 160 hits and 40 points in both 2008-09 (with Zdeno Chara) and 2009-10 (with Stephane Robidas). The 6-4, 230 pounder finished fourth in voting for the 2009 Norris Trophy, and seventh in voting for the League’s top defenseman in 2010. He also became the first homegrown Predator to land a spot in the All-Star Game in 2009.
Nashville’s fourth choice, 49th overall (second round), in the 2003 Entry Draft has accrued a lengthy international resume as well, most recently winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Weber was named to the Olympic All-Star Team in the process after tying for second among all tournament defensemen in points (2g-4a), and ranking second on the team in average ice time (20:37). He also earned a silver medal with Canada at the 2009 World Championships in Switzerland while being named best defenseman of the tournament and Canada’s top player, and won gold medals at both the 2007 World Championships and 2005 World Junior Championships.
Weber succeeds Jason Arnott, who served as Predators captain from September 12, 2007 until he was traded to New Jersey on June 19, 2010. Tom Fitzgerald was the first captain in club history, wearing the “C” from July 6, 1998-March 13, 2002. Greg Johnson took over the captaincy prior to the 2002-03 season, and held it through the 2005-06 season. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen captained the club in 2006-07, before giving way to Arnott.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass