Shea Weber earns the call for HHOF

Shea Weber's place in the Hockey Hall of Fame is well deserved, and he earned it with his physically dominant style and high leadership qualities.
Florida Panthers v Montreal Canadiens
Florida Panthers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Former Montreal Canadiens captain and longtime NHL defenseman Shea Weber has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for the class of 2024. 

Weber, the veteran of over 1,000 NHL games never got the highly-coveted Stanley Cup ring, but he certainly had a decorated career. In junior, before he started his NHL career, Weber won a league championship with the Kelowna Rocket. He was also a stalwart on the Canadian blueline, helping the World Junior Championship team to a gold medal.

Weber was drafted in the 2003 NHL Draft, which is touted as one of the best of all time. The native of Sicamous, British Columbia was selected in the second round, 49th overall. His selection has got to be one of the best value picks in league history.

With a 6 foot 4 and 230 pound frame, Weber was feared by many but backed down to none. He possessed the power to injure players who dared step in front of his devastating slapshot. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Weber ripped a puck through the mesh of the hockey net, if that puts things into perspective.

Before ever skating in a game with the Canadiens I was convinced that Weber belonged in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Fans were divided when the Habs acquired him in the famous swap that sent fan favourite PK Subban to Nashville. But Weber made the most of his time in Montreal, going out with a career-ending ailment after falling short to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2021 Stanley Cup final. 

With the way he warranted attention on the ice and earned respect throughout the locker room, there is no doubt that the ‘Man Mountain’ deserves his name amongst the greatest hockey players ever to lace up a pair of skates. When the game started to be more about speed, while Weber wasn't the most fleet of foot, his positioning and gap control are what made him so effective. His blend of strength, reach and high defensive IQ made him a nightmare to try and get around and if he caught an opponent along the boards, they would end up on their backside.