The Nashville Predators reassigned defenseman Shea Weber to the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League on Saturday, one day after he made his NHL debut. The 6'3", 213-pound native of Sicamous, B.C., posted three shots, two hits and two penalty minutes during 11:08 of ice time Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. He had been recalled earlier Friday and arrived in Nashville in time to step into the lineup and replace injured defenseman Marek Zidlicky.
Weber, 20, arrived in Nashville leading Admirals defensemen in scoring with 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 34 games. He has also posted seven power-play goals and a +2 rating to date in his first pro season. Predators head coach Barry Trotz indicated Friday in his post-game press conference that Weber's offensive production in Milwaukee led to his selection to fill in for Zidlicky. Trotz also suggested that Zidlicky's expected return may result in Weber being reassigned on Saturday.
"He's probably going to go back because Zidlicky should be ready to go on [Sunday], but I thought he played really well in his first game," Trotz said.
Weber was a bit more reserved in his analysis. "I think it was all right," he said. "I got a little bit of a feel for everything. You know, the first one is always going to be the toughest, trying to sort things out and be able to figure everything out."
But the roar that greeted the Predators as they took the ice in front of a sold-out Gaylord Entertainment Center for a heavily anticipated match-up against the Detroit Red Wings is not something he'll soon forget.
"It's pretty amazing," he said. "It's something you grow up thinking about. It was pretty special."
Weber was back in the lineup for the Admirals Saturday night as the club defeated Omaha 3-1. With his reassignment, there are currently 21 players on the Predators' active roster, with four players (Scott Walker, Scott Nichol, David Legwand and Jeremy Stevenson) on injured reserve.
Nashville (25-12-3) will face the Chicago Blackhawks (13-23-4) on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. CT at the United Center. The game will not be televised locally but will be broadcast on 104.5-FM The Zone.