Nashville Predators Captain Shea Weber joined his teammates on the ice at Centennial Sportsplex on Monday.
The 30-year-old defenseman has sat out the team’s previous three contests with a lower-body injury, but participated fully in the Preds 75-minute session taking place on the League’s Trade Deadline Day. Monday was the first occasion Weber had taken to the ice with the full team since taking part in a morning skate Feb. 23 - including line rushes - before leaving the session early.
“I feel good,” Weber said following Monday's skate. "It's hard, you don't like to sit out. You feel like you're letting your teammates down, so it's not easy. It's not easy to have something you have to deal with, but that's the way it goes sometimes. It's a hard game and it's hard on your body, and it'll be good to get back."
“Once a player goes through a process and they get back to practice, that's always positive sign that things are moving in the right direction," Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of Weber returning to practice.
Nashville claimed three wins over Toronto, Chicago and St. Louis without their 6-foot-4 captain in the lineup, but the Preds starting netminder says he's anxious to see No. 6 on the ice again soon.
“He's the captain, he's our best player," goaltender Pekka Rinne said of Weber. "I've played with him for so many years I feel pretty comfortable when he is on the ice, and I know what he's going to do; we have good chemistry. Just the fact that he's a leader and provides elements we don't necessarily have without him. We've been doing a really good job without him though. Guys have been playing desperate and stepping up their game, all together we're trying to fill his shoes, but of course we miss him too."
Next up for the Predators will be their third consecutive game versus a Central Division rival when they host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. The upcoming check on Weber’s progress will come tomorrow when it’s seen whether or not the blueliner is also able to participate in the morning skate.