Predators lose Shea Weber indefinitely

Updated: December 28, 2011, 10:51 AM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

The Nashville Predators will be without star defenseman and team captain Shea Weber indefinitely after the club announced Tuesday he has a concussion.

"Not all injuries are created equal and not all players are equal," Predators general manager David Poile told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "This is obviously a challenge for us for whatever length of time he'll be out. It's going to be real interesting to see how our team responds."

It's a massive blow for the Predators, as Weber is a major defensive and offensive contributor. The perennial Norris Trophy candidate is fourth in the NHL in ice time at 26 minutes, 10 seconds per game and currently has eight goals and 21 assists.

"There's no official timetable for his return, but he's feeling better and I'm hoping there's a chance for him to return Friday," coach Barry Trotz said. "But we'll see."

Poile and Trotz were later cautiously optimistic that Weber could return for Friday's game at St. Louis, but offered no guarantees.

"There's a chance for Friday," Trotz said, according to The Tennessean of Nashville. "He is recovering pretty well, I would say, but nothing is for sure."

Weber was injured late in Friday's game against the Dallas Stars after taking a hit from Mark Fistric.

The Predators next play Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild.

The Predators are 18-14-4 with 40 points entering Tuesday's games. They're eighth in the Western Conference, with four other teams behind them within two points.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.