It’s a little bit of a shock but it was something I was really looking forward to a new opportunity and I’m excited. I couldn’t be happier to be going to the Flames organization. - Drew Shore
CALGARY, AB -- Drew Shore started the day pulling for the Florida Panthers. It didn’t take long to make him a big fan of the Calgary Flames.
With the Panthers and Flames an hour away from meeting at Scotiabank Saddledome, Shore -- Florida’s second pick, 44th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft -- was acquired by Calgary in exchange for Corban Knight.
“Lets say that changed quite a bit after one phone call,” Shore said. “That is definitely a little weird but I guess that’s hockey.
“I was sitting down at dinner and got a phone call and I’m kind of packing everything up right now and taking off tomorrow morning. It’s a little bit of a shock but it was something I was really looking forward to a new opportunity and I’m excited. I couldn’t be happier to be going to the Flames organization.”
The trade was a shock.
But it wasn’t unexpected.
Shore loses his waiver-free status with two more NHL games played (or at the end of this season, whichever happens first). With 19-year-old Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad, 22, already patrolling the middle for the Panthers, Shore couldn’t find room in Florida.
“It was something that with my waiver situation I kind of saw it coming but at the same time you never know when that’s going to happen,” said Shore, who has eight goals and 20 points in 67 career NHL games spread over parts of two seasons. “I focused on playing the best hockey I could. It was in the back of my mind and I knew it was probably going to come at some time but really had no idea.”
At first glance, the fit couldn’t be better, the 23-year-old admitted.
Pacing the AHL's San Antonio Rampage with 21 assists and sitting second in points with 30, Shore feels he's trending in the right direction at just the right time to mesh with his new club.
“When you look at their roster they’ve got a lot of young, exciting players and I think I can fit in very well there,” Shore said. “I’m just starting to hit my stride and I think I can develop into a really good two-way player in the NHL. It’s obviously a great core and I’m hoping I can add to it. It’s really exciting to be part of that.”
When he arrives in Calgary, Shore will have a familiar shoulder to lean on, too.
He spent his freshmen season at the University of Denver riding shotgun with Flames forward Joe Colborne.
“He was going to be the first one I was going to text,” Shore said. “I had a great time with him at Denver. I played a little bit with him and hung out with him a little bit off the ice as well. I’m excited to see a familiar face, that’s for sure.”
The city isn’t all that unfamiliar, either.
“I’m thrilled to be going to a city like Calgary,” he said. “I grew up in Denver and was able to visit Calgary a couple of times. They’re similar cities, great hockey market and a team that has really played well since the start of the year.
“I’m excited to go to an organization like that and I’m thrilled to get going.”