The Canadiens are quite aware the postseason is a far-fetched dream this year, and general manager Marc Bergevin is trying his best to come up with a plan to build a stronger future in Montreal.
However, Bergevin might be pushing his luck on the trade market, as it has been reported that not only captain Max Pacioretty and veteran Tomas Plekanec could land on the block, but also star defenseman Shea Weber.
The blue liner is a star no doubt, especially when it comes to his slap shot and his leadership in the dressing room. But TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger was asked Tuesday if Weber still carries the same value he did when the team acquired him for P.K. Subban.
Weber, who has last played on Dec. 16 due to a lower-body injury, carries $7.86 million cap hit and is signed through the 2025-26 season, and if Bergevin can manage to make this move, Dreger believes the team who lands him will get a "cap killer."
"Nobody's suggesting he's going to be traded," Dreger told TSN Radio 690 Montreal. "In terms of his value, I think unfortunately, you've got to dissect it and you have to break in two pieces. One, is he as highly regarded from a character standpoint? One hundred per cent. There isn't a team in the National Hockey League that wouldn't want Shea Weber because of his experience, what he brings to your dressing room, just everything about him oozes professional and oozes the ultimate hockey player.
"But then, you've got to look at the business side of things. Given what remains on his contract, then you try to make sense of where his game is headed on the ice, it gets tough, it gets real tough. When you get into the latter stages of any player's career like this, they're cap killers. I still think he has a lot to contribute but when you look at the business package vs. what he brings in intangibles, it's still a difficult sell unless he's willing to go to a team that wants all that experience, isn't worried about the cap hit and they need to shift the culture around their organization. But, I don't see it happening. At least not in-season, but when we're talking about everyone else on the Montreal Canadiens, it's certainly fair to at least consider that long possibility."
Weber played in just 26 games this season, registering six goals and 16 points. Despite attempting to play through the injury, Weber was still averaging a team-high 25:21 of ice time per game.
However, head coach Claude Julien revealed earlier this week that Weber could return in two to three weeks time. Julien's timeline for Weber's return could see him back in the lineup around the trade deadline.