Shea Weber is, if nothing else, a man of extremes.
He's extremely nasty and feared on the ice, remarkably nice and humble off it. He's a polarizing defenseman to evaluate, with his true impact in any given game rarely reflected in traditional or even advanced statistics. He's incredibly strong and, relative to his size, tremendously agile. He's equipped with an extraordinarily hard shot. And he's totally uninterested in talking about himself.
That last trait surfaced during All-Star Weekend. In a one-on-one interview, Weber - who's 24 NHL games shy of 1,000 - was asked how he's been able to maintain such a high level of play this year. His previous enthusiasm in discussing his seventh All-Star appearance - "This is awesome" - vanished instantly.
"I don't know, to be honest," the Montreal Canadiens captain said, his facial expression suddenly blank. "Dedication to training and preparation. Every year I prepare for the season. I've had some tough injuries the last couple of years, but I think I've worked hard to come back from those. I think that … I don't like talking about myself. It's just the hard work and dedication that comes with anything."
That dedication is paying off, both for Weber and Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin. The hockey community roundly mocked Bergevin in June 2016 after he traded Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban for Weber, straight up. The criticism was warranted: Bergevin had sent the Nashville Predators a younger, more dynamic blue-liner than Weber, one whose contract was less of an albatross than Weber's monstrous 14-year deal. The swap was projected to be a landslide win for the Predators. Yet, in 2020, Subban is a member of the New Jersey Devils and Weber, at 34 years old, is excelling.
"You're in one place 10-plus years, and you get comfortable with the city, the organization, everything. And then everything is new," Weber said, reflecting on the blockbuster trade. "But I feel like I am at home again, and that I'm settled into my home. I enjoy playing here, and after the first year, it has felt more natural. In the fourth year now, it feels normal."
Weber - who was limited to only 26 games in 2017-18 and 58 games last year because of injury - hasn't missed a single contest this season.