Buffalo Sabres Nominate Mike Weber For Masterton Trophy


The Buffalo Sabres have selected defenseman Mike Weber as the team’s nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

Weber, 27, has been with the Buffalo Sabres organization since being drafted by the team in 2006.

He began his pro career with the AHL’s Rochester Americans and Portland Pirates before eventually making his way to the NHL.

Since the 2007-08 season, when he made his NHL debut, Weber has appeared in 312 career NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres.

It wasn’t an easy jump to the NHL for Weber, however. He struggled for several seasons to get a solid spot in the NHL, eventually being bumped out by veterans or defenseman acquired via free agency or trade.

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Just when Weber thought he had a solid spot, he was a casualty of an overcrowded defense corps and once again found himself as the 7th, and sometimes 8th, blueliner in the organization.

Whether it was being squeezed out by guys like Jaroslav Spacek or Chris Butler, or competing with his former defense partner Andrej Sekera for that final spot, Weber often found himself relegated to the extra spot, left to ponder the game in the press box.

Despite that, he never gave up, and today, Weber is the longest-tenured defenseman in the Buffalo Sabres organization. He’s the second-longest tenured player on the team in general, behind only 2004-drafted Patrick Kaleta.

According to NHL.com, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is given to the player who:

"“best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”"

The winner is selected in a poll from all chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA).

Although the Masterton is traditionally given to players that make unbelievable comebacks from injury or personal tragedies, each team must select a representative nominee, and Weber is a solid selection for the Buffalo Sabres.

Last year’s winner of the Masterton trophy was New York Rangers forward Dominic Moore, who returned to the NHL after an 18-month leave of absence to care for his wife, who had been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer.

Although Mike Weber will likely never win an award for being the top player, but that’s not what the Masterton is about. It’s about dedication to hockey, and passion for the sport is undoubtedly something Weber is chock full of.

Need an example? Just look at Weber’s comments about the Buffalo fans after last week’s game against Arizona. He isn’t afraid to speak out and has that key passion.

Weber is a veteran leader on a Buffalo Sabres team filled with youth. He represented the team in speaking about Steve Montador‘s passing; he stands up for his fellow teammates and above all, has never given up.

He’s also mentored younger defensemen on the team – dig up Chad Ruhwedel‘s comments from his first NHL game, where he proclaimed that being paired with Weber made his life a lot easier.

Weber has a history of being in a leadership role, too. He captained the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires at one point, wore an ‘A’ for the Pirates and has been graced with an ‘A’ by the Sabres on occasion.

Other Masterton trophy nominees that have been announced for this season include Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan.

For further reading, check out this article about Weber’s nomination from The Buffalo News.

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