It’s either that nobody wants Shea Weber, or everybody wants him. Our guess is the latter. For the second time in 35 days, the perennial all-star defenseman has been traded.
Copenhagen becomes the third Ahearne Division team Weber has played for this season. The Tridents wanted the 28-year-old badly, sending promising Kevin Shattenkirk, 24, and two other starters to London in exchange. Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, 27, and winger Teddy Purcell, 28, will head to London with Shattenkirk.
Weber, who officially owns the hardest shot in the league, played 186 games for Oslo alongside his former Nashville partner Ryan Suter before being traded to London – with Pavel Datsyuk – for Tyler Seguin and Luca Sbisa earlier this season. Weber’s stay in London consisted of 17 games in which he blocked 24 shots, dished out 47 hits and scored 3 goals and 8 points. All-time, he has recorded more hits (740) than anyone by a wide margin. He’s fourth among defensemen in scoring (133 points) and he sits in 10th place in the blocked shots column with 266.
Copenhagen will obviously use Weber on the top defense pairing. Earlier today, Shattenkirk and Alex Goligoski made up that duo. The trade might mean Nicklas Grossman, who played 43 games for the Tridents last season but not one this year, will be inserted into Gunnarsson’s spot.
After defeating Geneva 2-1 on Thursday, the Tridents are in second place overall in the league, a point behind Munich and a point ahead of their Northern Conference rival Moscow, which has two games in hand.
London has experienced upheaval and disappointment this season. They sit in 22nd place overall and are 7 points behind Belfast for the last playoff spot in the Northern Conference. Their season can be summed up by reviewing the year Brenden Morrow has had. After two full seasons with the Dons, the 34-year-old entered the season as the team’s captain. But he was bounced to the farm team and has only seen the ice in London three games this year. A cell phone video of him kicking a can along Brompton Road in London went viral and it seems his conditioning regimen has changed from running and lifting weights to hanging out in nightclubs and smoking cigarettes with Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and the women of the day who surround them. Morrow was stripped of his captaincy and Datsyuk is now the man in charge of the dressing room.
But London remains a promising team with some of the best young talent in the league. Up front, all-stars Taylor Hall and Devin Setoguchi are already performing at an elite level and forwards like Brandon Saad, Jeff Skinner and Jimmie Ericsson, who played in the Olympics for Sweden, are expected to be in all-star conversations in the future. On defense, Shattenkirk – who started in the first all-star game at age 22 – along with Jake Gardiner and Zach Bogosian, both 23, are considered blue-chip prospects.