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Preds captain Weber (dislocated kneecap) returns tonight

Shea Weber

Shea Weber


There will be a welcome sight for Preds fans in Wednesday’s tilt against Tampa -- Shea Weber will be back in the lineup for the first time since dislocating his kneecap during Game 2 of last year’s opening-round playoff loss to the Blackhawks.

Weber, who underwent surgery in the offseason, will be eased back into the lineup and could see a reduction in minutes this year. He turned 30 in August and, just prior to the start of the preseason, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette told The Tennessean he was looking to trim Weber’s time on ice.

“Certainly, ideally you’d like to bring those minutes down a little bit if you could,” Laviolette explained. “Sometimes in the course of the game, it becomes a little bit challenging.

“I do think that we have the support and the depth to try to accomplish that this year, to see if we can’t bring it down a little bit.”

Weber has averaged at least 25 minutes per game over the last five seasons, eclipsing the 26 mark in each of the last two.