BUFFALO, N.Y. – Andrew Shaw and Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin go back a few years.
It was Bergevin, when he was assistant general manager with the Blackhawks, who signed Shaw to his entry-level contract. And now they’re together again.
“He likes the rat in me, the work ethic,” Shaw said on Saturday via conference call. “He enjoys watching me play and dealing with him on my first contract was exciting for me as well. I owe him a lot.”
Shaw has run the gamut of emotions over the last day or so. The forward, who so fervently wanted to stay with Chicago, never got the deal to remain here. Instead he was sent to Montreal, where he’s reunited with Bergevin and will help the Canadiens increase their grit level. With Shaw and Brendan Gallagher together on that team, the pest factor will truly be high.
“Me and Gallagher, we have had some fun battles,” Shaw said. “Now I’m excited to be on his side to annoy people together, I guess.”
Still, the last five years with the Blackhawks, which included two Stanley Cups, will stay with Shaw forever. Shaw thought he and the Blackhawks were “pretty close” to a deal, but it never came to fruition.
“They have cap issues and it’s tough to get around, especially this time of year with the draft, free agency coming. It was tough. I thought we were close. Just have to move past it,” Shaw said. “Got a fresh start with a new team and I’m excited about that. It’ll be fun. Excited to meet the guys and get in that room. On the other end, I’ll miss my friends and teammates in Chicago as well.”
What contract Shaw gets from the Canadiens remains to be seen. Darren Dreger tweeted Saturday that talks between the two camps are going well, and Shaw could get “a 5-7-year extension in the days ahead.” The Blackhawks weren’t in a position to offer a lot of money or a lengthy term.
So Shaw turns a page in his career. His years with the Blackhawks were special to him but he’s reuniting with the man who helped bring him to Chicago in the first place.
“It’s a business. I knew the options that were coming my way. I just sat back and was patient and let that unravel. There’s not much I can do personally. Obviously five years in Chicago, two championships and a lot of friends, but I’m ready to move on and start a new chapter,” Shaw said. “I’m excited it’ll be with Montreal, and I hope everyone else feels the same way.”