Mike Weaver enjoyed everything about suiting up for the Canadiens and being a part of the Montreal community
MONTREAL - If you're looking for Mike Weaver, these days you'll find him back on home turf in Toronto. But, the former defenseman will always have a special place in his heart reserved just for Montreal.
After being acquired by the Canadiens at the trade deadline in March 2014, Weaver quickly took to the city - and the fans quickly took to him, both on and off the ice.
Almost three years years after hanging up his skates, the 40-year-old Bramalea, ON native still can't stop smiling when he thinks back to his stint with the CH.
"By far, the best thing that happened to my career was to come to Montreal. Just the whole feeling of the city, the people and the fans were just amazing. My Twitter feed went from 2,000 to 4,000 followers in a matter of hours," cracked Weaver, who always made a conscious effort to interact with the Habs' faithful on social media. "It was an amazing experience being in such a hockey town. The passion and the history is something I'm going to remember forever."
Today is the day I retire from the NHL and I want to share my thoughts and feelings with all of you.
Looking back at my career I can see that it has been exciting, with many ups and downs, which I would not change for anything. It’s time to say Goodbye and I am ready for the next phase of my life.
The feeling of stripping the puck off a forward, hammering someone in an open ice collision, and barely being able to stand up from blocking a slapshot in the knee, will be missed; so will the smells of the dressing room, the laughs in the team lounge and the pats on the back after a big play.
This summer was different. My gut told me that this was my last year. Even though I knew that I was ready to move on, I still struggled, deliberating on whether this was the right decision. This was such a big decision for me because training for the game has been a central part of my life since my first year at Michigan State when I was 18 years old.
Throughout my career, every year I had to prove myself and earn my spot, while appreciating that teams valued my efforts and consistent style of play. I never sat and waited for teams to see value in my position and how I played, I showed them. The expression, "When preparation meets opportunity" sums up my career. I always went into every training camp, practice, and game, giving it all I had. Leaving everything on the ice and playing my best gave me great satisfaction and resulted in a 15 year Pro Hockey Career.
When I first turned Pro and signed with the Atlanta Thrashers, the GM Don Waddell told all the rookies that everyone was going to be sent down to Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League (Ya that’s how old I am) and that we should use this year to prove ourselves. That really stuck with me and after we had won the Turner Cup Championship, I remember sitting down with my assistant coach and now friend, Jim Hughes. He said, “Do you remember at the start of the year when you were healthy scratched the first 8 games? When I heard they had sent you down, I thought what do we do with a 5’9” defensive defenseman? After your first game in the lineup I knew that there was NO way you were coming out.” That is my career in a nut shell: proving my ability, creating a reputation and enjoying the journey!
I am grateful for an amazing career, seeing so many wonderful places, meeting some great people and making new friendships.
Thank you to all YOU fans in all the cities that I played. Thanks for all your support and for experiencing this with me.
To the kids - have fun and enjoy the game. Enjoy hockey, wherever it takes you.
To the parents - give your kids this freedom.
My love of hockey will be continuing through my involvement with my Hockey School, Defense First and my online drill coaches tool, CoachThem.com. I look to forward to sharing these with you and continuing my love for hockey in a new way.
Je Me Souviens!
Le Dream OUT!!!
DEFENSE FIRST OF HAB'S DREAM WEAVER
Mike Weaver has done all right for a player who was never selected at the National Hockey League draft.
Not bad for a guy who has only scored eight goals in 602 career NHL games.
So it should come as no surprise that Weaver operates the Defense First Hockey School during the summer.
NHLPA - MIKE WEAVER RETIRES FROM NHL AFTER 11 SEASONS
TORONTO (October 5, 2015) – Mike Weaver has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL) after 11 seasons.
Weaver played in a total of 633 career NHL games with six teams: the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens. The 5’10”, 183-pound defenceman scored eight goals and 89 assists for 97 points in his NHL career. Weaver also played in 28 playoff games and helped the Canadiens reach the Eastern Conference Final in 2014.