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Behind Enemy Lines: Brandon Saad on Andrew Shaw

The Blackhawks forward dishes on his former Chicago roommate

by Hugo Fontaine @CanadiensMTL /

Despite engaging in some heated battles on the ice, opposing NHL players often forge enduring friendships away from the rink. We thought it might be interesting, then, to do some reconnaissance in the visitors' dressing room to get an occasional take on a Canadiens player from a friendly foe on another club. Today: Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad on his former teammate, Andrew Shaw.

What was your first impression of Andrew?
I thought he was loud. (laughs) He was an energetic guy and that pretty much sums up what I thought of him the first time I met him.

Did it click right away between the two of you?
Actually, yes. We've gotten along pretty well since Day 1. We ended up being roommates in Chicago in my first year. He's definitely a fun guy to be around. 

What kind of roommate was Andrew?
You know what? When you have him one-on-one, he's pretty quiet and relaxed. When he's out in the open, he's always bringing his energy and enthusiasm to the room and he's a lot of fun.

How often did you two fight over the remote?
(laughs) Not too much, actually. We got along pretty well and we usually agreed upon the same stuff. Whoever had it really didn't matter. We didn't have any issues there. 

We heard that when it came to getting ready, Andrew was always really fast. whereas you needed a lot more mirror time. True or false?
(laughs) He's a little more high strung than me. He'd pop out of bed in the morning and rip the blinds open and be ready to go. I, on the other end, was a little bit more relaxed and a little bit slower getting ready. He was definitely a guy who loved being awake and showing his energy.

An energetic guy like him paired with a mellow guy like you: sounds like the Odd Couple.
Yeah it's pretty crazy. They say opposites attract. We were pretty different guys but at the end of the day, we got along pretty well. We have a good relationship and we had a lot of fun and a lot of memories together. He's a guy that I'll always keep in touch with.

How often do you guys talk to each other during the hockey season?
Not too much because of our busy schedules. But it's something where we'll always see how the other is doing or check in to hear about different things going on in each others' lives. We keep in touch with and we'll have dinner when we play against each other. 

You haven't faced him a lot since he left Chicago, but how tough is it to play against a guy like Andrew?
It's definitely tough. He's a guy who you love when he's on your team and you hate when you play against him. You know what you're going to get out of him every night. He's a strong competitor. Every night he's going to bring his heart and lay it out there on the table. It's great to be his teammate, but you know you'll have to be ready when you face him. 

When you'll face each other, are you expecting a lot of trash talk from him?
He's a guy that brings it every night and he likes to talk a lot.

Andrew is a big Cubs fan. Were you as well during your time in Chicago?
I was and I was happy that they won the World Series last October. It's good for the city. We went to Wrigley Field a couple times with the Stanley Cup.

You guys had pretty unique nicknames in Chicago - he was "The Mutt" and you "The Man-Child." Who do you think had the best one between the two of you?
(laughs) Probably him. It was well-deserved! 

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