MONTREAL – Shea Weber might’ve kept things rather quiet this summer, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy over the last few months.
|A huge baseball fan, Shea Weber simply couldn’t turn down Brendan Gallagher’s invitation to take part in his second annual Celebrity Softball Classic. (©Garrett James)
As per usual, Weber returned to his native British Columbia at the end of the season to recharge his batteries ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
While the trade that sent him from the Nashville Predators to the Canadiens had many people shaking their collective heads, the veteran defenseman – who was returning from a day of boating near his home in Kelowna when the deal was announced – quickly came to terms with the idea of pursuing his NHL career in Montreal. Once he completely wrapped his head around it, he just went on enjoying all of the sunshine and warmth that summer has to offer.
“I used to do a lot of boating, but that’s changed. I’m on the water a lot less often now that we have a young boy,” admitted Weber, referencing his two-year-old son, Beckette. “I also went out fishing a few times. I’d do it from the dock, though, because the water in the lake is a little too deep close by to where we live. You can also see me on the golf course a lot.”
In addition to ramping up his training over the last few weeks with some of his new teammates in Western Canada, Weber, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Sunday, recently made a point of getting re-acquainted with one of his childhood passions: baseball.
Even though he spent a lot more time on baseball diamonds as a kid than he does now, Weber never passes up a chance to break out his glove. That was the case on Saturday when he took part in Brendan Gallagher’s second annual Celebrity Softball Classic, which was held to raise funds for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal.
“I played baseball until I was 16 years old. It was at a pretty competitive level for a league in a small town. I played shortstop and I pitched. These days, I don’t think I could play shortstop, though. I’m too big! I’d need to change positions and maybe play third base,” cracked the Sicamous native, who was one of three Canadiens representatives in attendance at Gallagher’s game. “I spend a lot of time on my baseball pool. I’m on it every day in the summer. I love baseball, especially the Blue Jays. I’ve been supporting them long before the rest of the country did last year.”
Whether he’s been returning from a day on the water, time in the gym, or a round of golf, the new Canadiens rearguard has often ended his day by grilling up a good meal. A barbecue enthusiast – like the majority of his fellow players, of course – Weber and his wife, Bailey, previously called one of the best barbecue cities in the world home for over a decade. He still hasn’t been able to replicate some of those famous Music City dishes on his own, though.
“I love to barbecue. I’ve been in front of my grill pretty much all summer,” said Weber, who was recently invited to have dinner with Carey Price and his wife, Angela, who reside nearby in Kelowna. “Even if I played in Nashville for 11 years, I never really learned the technique involved in making BBQ in the Southern U.S. But, I tasted it again, again, and again!”
If Weber liked the culinary scene in Nashville, imagine what he’ll think of the bevy of options available to him in Montreal…
Hugo Fontaine is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.
On the other side of the microphone with ... Georges Laraque