One of the National Hockey League’s top defenseman, Nashville Predators Shea Weber has thrived when given the opportunity to play on big stages.
To this point in his career, the biggest platform presented to the Predators captain has been the Winter Olympics. The blueliner excelled in the 2010 Vancouver games and is shining again in this year’s Olympiad.
Two contests into the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Weber has tallied a goal in each game and registered big minutes on Canada’s top defensive pairing.
Certainly, it helps that Weber is playing with Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (someone battling Weber for the Norris Trophy) and the rest of Canada’s uber-talented roster, but seeing Nashville’s captain excel against the world’s elite is encouraging.
The British Columbia native’s ability to make smart plays and pick up crucial goals in the Olympics, further solidifies Weber’s elite status and the Predators decision to invest and build their entire team around the blueliner.
Yes, there will always be questions of: “What’s the return if Weber is traded?” (we’ve even raised them ourselves), but there’s a reason the old saying goes: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Meaning, if the Predators traded Weber for even two or three “potentially” good players, there’s always a risk the team could never again hold something comparable to the superstar they have right now.
This is exactly why the Predators organization matched the huge offer sheet Weber signed with Philadelphia in 2012, and it’s also why, along with Pekka Rinne, they have to try and win with their stars now.
So don’t let the significance of Weber clearly being one of the best players in the 2014 and 2010 Olympic games escape you. It means that the Predators don’t just have a player that shines in the smaller lights of the regular season, it means they have a rare thing in someone who always stands out, no matter how big the moment.