Montreal Canadiens: Why Shea Weber’s Contract Is Not A Problem At All For Habs

Mar 11, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Shea Weber Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Shea Weber Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber has an enormous contract and it seemingly never ends.

In actuality, he is set to have a cap hit of $7.8 million until the end of the 2025-26 season. That means, including this year, the Canadiens captain has six years left on his contract.

Weber is already 35 years old and the length and cap hit of his contract is becoming a concern for Habs fans. Well, the length has been a concern since he was acquired for PK Subban back in June of 2016.

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The problem is, Weber hasn’t been playing that great this season. His offensive numbers are down as he is on pace to finish with less than half a point per game for the first time since 2007-08. More concerning are his defensive woes as his lack of speed seems to be really catching up with him. He is still playing huge minutes, but he doesn’t seem capable of handling that heavy workload on a nightly basis.

So, what are the Canadiens going to do with this enormous contract for the next five seasons?

Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. Even though Weber’s cap hit is enormous for the next five seasons, his actual salary is a much different story.

Weber made $14 million for the first four years of his contract. He made $12 million each of the next two seasons. He makes much, much less over the final few years of his deal.

Weber earns $6 million this season and will make the same amount next year. After that, his salary drops to $3 million for the 2022-23 season and then dips to just $1 million for the final three years of his contract. That means, over the final four years of his deal, Weber only actually makes a total of $6 million.

His cap hit will remain just over $7.8 million each of those seasons.

What this means is, over the final four years of his contract, Weber makes a relatively small amount of money, but carries an enormous cap hit. This is extremely attractive to low budget teams like the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes.

We have seen the Coyotes trade for a handful of players over the years that everyone knew would never play a game there. However, their cap hits were pretty high and this allowed the Coyotes to reach the salary floor without actually spending the cash. That’s why Chris Pronger, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa were traded to Arizona over the years but never even considered playing there.

It’s the same reason the Senators traded for Derek Stepan a few months ago. He had a cap hit of $6.5 million for the season, but had already been paid his bonus for the year and only needed to be paid a total of $2 million. A cheap owner like Eugene Melnyk loves a player with a higher cap hit than salary.

There is no question Melnyk would be interested in acquiring Weber after the 2021-22 season. A veteran defender who doesn’t cost much but helps the team reach the cap floor with a big cap hit is a huge asset for a rebuilding team that doesn’t want to spend a ton of money like the Senators.

Next. A Sam Bennett trade would make sense. dark

The Canadiens may never get a big haul back in a trade for Weber, but there is no question teams will be interested in acquiring the Habs captain in the near future.