The Montreal Canadiens have signed center Andrew Shaw to a six-year contract worth $3.9 million per season and $23.4 million overall. For a team looking to bounce back from a bad year, adding a two-time Stanley Cup winner is a good start.
Shaw burst onto the scene in 2011-12 when he racked up 23 points in 37 games for the Blackhawks, then won his first Cup with Chicago a year later. Shaw added another ring to his collection in 2015 with the Hawks.
Tough and skilled, Shaw has never been easy to play against and teams will wince at the idea of facing him and Brendan Gallagher on the same night in Montreal. He was acquired from Chicago for two second-round picks, which the Hawks used on undersized sniper Alex DeBrincat and quick-skating defenseman Chad Krys.
Before the trade, there had been reports that Shaw was asking for $4.5 million per year from the Hawks, but with Chicago's salary cap strain, that was never going to be possible.
With the Canadiens, Shaw brings positive possession numbers, despite starting only 29 per cent of his shifts in the offensive zone last season. Montreal's possession numbers were up dramatically last year, but the absence of superstar goalie Carey Price doomed any hopes of the playoffs. With Price healthy and Shaw in the fold, it's easy to picture Montreal once again staking a claim to a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
Of note in our expansion draft-influenced time; Shaw's contract does not have a no-movement clause of any kind, so he would have to be protected by Montreal when Las Vegas is picking next summer.