For the first time in a long time, Canadiens’ defenceman Yannick Weber celebrated a birthday at home, in Switzerland, with family and friends.

He enjoyed that.  But, at the same time, had in not been for the NHL lockout, Weber would have been celebrating his 24th birthday today with his Canadiens’ teammates in the first game of the pre-season.  Instead, Weber has returned home to Switzerland to play with a team based in Geneva. He suited up for the Geneva-based team for the first time last night.



“It was really strange,” said Weber, who joined me today in CJAD’s The Locker Room, from Geneva. “I just got here, a new city, a new team, a new everything. It was a little weird for me wearing a new jersey yesterday.  It would have been better for me had I been in a Habs’ jersey.”

Weber said it’s a difficult decision for North American players to make when it comes to playing in Europe.

“I’m sure it’s not easy for a lot of guys.  For guys with kids in school, it’s not easy.  But for players who decide to come, I think Switzerland is a good option.”

Weber acknowledged the frustration that the players and fans are feeling as a result of the lockout.

“After last season in Montreal we were excited for a new year.  Now we have to wait.  But we want a fair deal and we’re prepared to wait a little bit so we can get this done.”


About ahefter

I have covered hockey extensively during my 30-year sports broadcasting career. From the Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid to the Edmonton Oiler dynasty years, I've shared my views on hockey with listeners in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. You can "catch me in action" on Youtube at the following URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n5BdB9ngYw My radio stops include TSN 690 Montreal, CJAD Montreal, CKNW Vancouver, and CKEY Toronto. I also ran the Canadian Press sports desk (radio). My travels as a network reporter have taken me to four Olympics, most recently Vancouver 2010. I'm currently an Applied Assistant Professor within the School of Communication at the University of Hartford.
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