Canadiens coach Claude Julien: Weber could return on Tuesday

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber, centre, will likely return to the Habs' lineup ahead of schedule. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Defenceman Shea Weber could be back in the Montreal Canadiens‘ lineup on Tuesday, according to head coach Claude Julien.

Julien told reporters that if things continue the way they are, the Habs could activate Weber ahead of schedule for the home game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He hasn’t played since Dec. 16, 2017 following a season-ending foot injury and off-season knee surgery. Weber has been skating and shooting pucks since the beginning of the week, but hasn’t officially been cleared for contact yet.

Currently on his third season with the Canadiens, Weber was held to just 26 games in 2017 due to a fractured foot, and finished the year with six goals and 10 assists. The 33-year-old had 17 goals and 25 assists (42 points) in 78 games in 2016.

His return will likely cause a logjam on defence, and general manager Marc Bergevin might be faced with some tough decisions.

In a separate move on Thursday, the Canadiens recalled defenceman Brett Kulak from AHL Laval.

Kulak, 24, was acquired by the Canadiens from the Flames before the start of the season. In 19 games with Laval he has three goals and 11 points, along with a plus-two rating.

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