BUFFALO – Andrew Shaw is already counting down the days until training camp begins.
Similar to a lot of his former teammates over the last few years, Shaw found himself the victim of the Blackhawks’ salary cap issues and was forced to move on from the Windy City as a result. But, when he learned that he’d be continuing his career in Montreal with the Canadiens, and that he’d be working with a familiar face again in Marc Bergevin, the shock of being dealt was a little bit easier to absorb. In short, Shaw already has big ambitions for his new team.
“I found out maybe 10 to 15 minutes before everyone did, so I was prepared for my phone to blow up. I’m excited and happy where I am, and I’m happy with the team we have, too,” said Shaw, who spoke to members of the media via a conference call from his hometown of Belleville, ON on Saturday afternoon. “We’re a talented, young, and hard working team. We’re going to work together. We’re going to compete, and I like our chances. It would be awesome to bring the Cup back to Montreal. There would probably be a riot in the city if it happened. It would be fun to be a part of this. We’re going to work hard to achieve this goal.”
While Shaw boasts just five years of NHL experience, the tenacious forward – who will celebrate his 25th birthday in July – possesses a CV that already includes two Stanley Cup rings to his credit. The fact that he’s already tasted victory twice before, and knows the ingredients necessary to win, played an important part in Bergevin’s decision to bring him on board.
Bergevin actually played a very big part in Shaw’s arrival in Chicago several years ago when he was a part of the Blackhawks’ brass that selected him in the fifth round of the NHL Entry Draft in 2011. Being reunited with Bergevin in Montreal is just additional motivation for Shaw to succeed in his brand new hockey home.
“Berg is the one who brought me to Chicago. I was with him when I signed my entry-level deal. I’m excited that we have that relationship already. Berg has always liked my play – either the rat in me or my work ethic,” cracked Shaw, who scored 14 goals and amassed 34 points last season, while also posting a plus-11 differential and spending 69 minutes in the penalty box. “He always made sure to let me know about it over the years. He likes me as a player. He brought me to the NHL and he’s given me that opportunity. I ran with it and I owe him a lot.”
The familiarity that exists between Shaw and Bergevin should make contract negotiations between the two sides relatively easy. For his part, Shaw is slated to become a restricted free agent in the coming days.
If Shaw knows Bergevin well, he’ll also come across another familiar face in Montreal in P.K. Subban, whose brother, Malcolm, played for the same Junior squad as his brother. They often crossed paths at the time in Belleville.
But, if there’s one player on Michel Therrien’s contingent who should be ecstatic with Shaw’s arrival, it’s Brendan Gallagher. Both players are known to drive their opponents on the ice crazy with their style of play. Now that they’re playing for the same team, they’ll be able to do that together – to the delight of Habs fans, of course.
“Brendan Gallagher and I have had some fun battles. Now, I’m excited to be on his side, annoy people together and battle,” concluded Shaw. “It’s going to be a fun team to play with. I can’t wait for September, obviously. I’m not used to these long summers. Hopefully, we can work together as an organization. I hope everyone is healthy all year long and we have some fun and success as well.”
Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.
AUDIO: Conference call - Andrew Shaw - June 25
Busy Friday night
Eller is dealt, Shaw arrives