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Stanley Cup Final 2021: The Canadiens had no idea this was the end for Shea Weber
Credit: The team will miss him, but his absence will still solve a few accounting problems.

Retirement is a luxury enjoyed by very few field hockey players. Usually, the athlete gets the boot and discovers he’s played his last NHL game some time later.

Very few get the press conference and media attention that Patrice Bergeron is currently receiving.

To do that, you have to have had a very great career and end it on your own terms. What I mean by that is, the guy can’t end up with a major injury or be sent to the minors or have his contract bought out. Patrice Bergeron leaves when he would still be the number-one center for two-thirds of NHL teams.

Watching the footage of Bergeron’s last game with the Bruins, you can tell there’s a lot of emotion among the players, and they all take care to salute their captain, as if it were the last time.

The problem is, the year before, we all thought it was time for the Québécois to retire, as Brad Marchand testified after the Bears’ elimination.

The Canadiens went through the same thing. Remember when the team was eliminated in five games in the Stanley Cup Final in 2021? Shea Weber was the target of numerous hugs from his teammates, and we all had the feeling that we had just witnessed the last game of the Man Mountain‘s career.

I say we all felt that way, but it’s not entirely true. Internally, among the management and coaching staff, we didn’t believe at all that this was the end for the captain. At least, that’s what Dominique Ducharme told BPM Sports.

In this interview, the former Tricolore head coach says they were surprised by the announcement that Weber would not return to action.

It’s as if Jim Montgomery had said at a press conference that he was surprised by Patrice Bergeron’s retirement. We wouldn’t believe it!

Am I the only one who finds this statement bizarre?

I mean… We could see that it had become difficult for Weber to play field hockey and that he was magané, as we say in Quebec. Even Marc Bergevin pointed out on several occasions that it took a lot of time, warming up and stretching for the former Nashville Predators player to be able to play a game.

In the last four seasons, he had played only 26, 58, 65 and 48 games respectively. It’s a pretty blatant sign that the guy’s health isn’t up to scratch.

And yet, despite all these signs, people on the inside didn’t see the news coming. How can this be?

I see two possibilities, either they didn’t want to see the signs and were wilfully blind, or they had problems with their incompetents to fill such a position.

I have too much respect for Dominique Ducharme to believe that the second option is possible. He’s a cultured man who knows his sport. So, inevitably, it has to be the other option, and if that’s the case, it just goes to show once again that NHL teams have major problems with the way they manage the decline of their rosters.

In brief

– The Gretzky-Hlinka U18 schedule is now available.

– Everyone in Edmonton hopes he’s right.

– Logan Cooley met the media following the signing of his first professional contract.

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