Forward Andrew Shaw didn't have to think long when asked what playing for the Montreal Canadiens meant to him.
"I don't have to play against Shea Weber anymore, so that's a huge positive," Shaw said at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec on Wednesday. "We've had some good battles in front of the net. He actually broke one of my ribs, so I know he is a tough defenseman and he is going to be great for us."
Shaw, who was traded to the Canadiens by the Chicago Blackhawks on June 24 for two picks in the 2016 NHL Draft, said the addition of Weber, the all-star defenseman acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29, will help Montreal, and also spoke about his role.
"It doesn't matter where I'm playing. I'm comfortable with any forward position," Shaw said. "[General manager Marc Bergevin] just wants me to bring that work ethic I've always had and that leadership role in the locker room. He pretty much told me to be myself.
"I always expect the best of myself. I am going to push myself to my limits. Wherever I am playing, I am going to go out there and work hard."
Shaw, 24, spent the past five seasons with the Blackhawks. He had 70 goals and 137 points in 322 regular-season games and 16 goals and 35 points in 67 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015. Shaw, who could have become a restricted free agent July 1, instead signed a six-year contract with the Canadiens on June 27.
Video: Andrew Shaw on his arrival in Montreal
"Sad but also excited for a fresh start, a new beginning, a new chapter in my life," Shaw said. "I couldn't be happier to be going to an organization like this.
"A lot of the guys on the team got my number from [Bergevin] or whoever had it and a bunch have reached out and welcomed me to the team and told me how excited they are to be teammates with me and not playing against me anymore. And I feel the same way about them."
Shaw said being on a new team with some new players will be an adjustment.
"It's a different feel to it but it's a good feel," he said. "You've got new faces. Everyone is going to want to prove themselves. Everyone is going to play hard and compete out there. ... I think I am going to fit in quite well here."
Montreal got off to an 18-4-2 start last season before winning two of their next 13 games (2-10-1), which coincided with an injury to 2014-15 Vezina and Hart trophy winner Carey Price, who didn't play after Nov. 25 because of a lower-body injury. The Canadiens failed to make the postseason for the first time since 2011-12, but Shaw said they have turned the page.
"You look around the room, they got great guys here," he said. "It's just coming together as a team ... just having a tight-knit group in the locker room. I think that's what they are working on here and I think everyone is excited about the new team."