MONTREAL - Canadiens captain Shea Weber is the recipient of the Jean Béliveau Trophy for the 2018-19 season in recognition of his charitable work and community involvement.
The veteran defenseman will be honored during a short ceremony before the preseason game between the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
The Jean Béliveau Trophy is awarded annually to the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualities in the community. The award is accompanied by a $25,000 donation made to a charity of the player's choice. Candidates are evaluated according to their commitment and leadership, as well as their implication and time invested in collective and personal initiatives that are important to them. The list of the 2018-19 finalists for the Jean Béliveau Trophy included Phillip Danault (Fondation Jasmin Roy), Max Domi (JDRF - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and Jonathan Drouin (Fondation du CHUM).
Since joining the Montreal Canadiens in 2016, Shea's charitable actions have been motivated by his desire to give back to the community his family now calls home by supporting many causes, including children. Since the 2017-18 season, Shea has been sponsoring one of the two Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation's private suites, allowing more than 350 children in need from all across Quebec to attend a game at the Bell Centre for the very first time. Many of these kids are invited through Best Buddies, an international organization that has a small chapter in Montreal. Best Buddies' mission is to promote in the creation of true friendships between people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and students. Shea has remained close to his best buddy, Mike Maguire, a decorated Special Olympics athlete with Down syndrome and a member of Best Buddies Tennessee, since his tenure with the Nashville Predators. His loyalty and dedication to this cause reflects his desire to have a significantly positive impact on the lives of those who need it most.
Carrying himself with great humility and generosity both on and off the ice, Shea leads by example and truly embodies what it means to be a natural leader in the locker room as well as in the community. Having earned the respect and recognition of everyone around him over the years, his authenticity continuously inspires and rallies his fellow teammates and fans alike around the causes and values cherished by the team.
Past winners of the Jean Béliveau Trophy include Brendan Gallagher, Carey Price, Brian Gionta, Michael Cammalleri, Maxim Lapierre, Patrice Brisebois, Alex Kovalev, P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Francis Bouillon, Steve Bégin and Saku Koivu.