Having Phillip Danualt diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms and Andrew Shaw placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed lower-body injury, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin acted quickly to bring in reinforcement. Forward Logan Shaw was claimed off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
In 42 games this season, the 25-year-old recorded two goals and eight points. Before making his professional debut in 2013, Shaw spent five seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the Quebec Ramparts. In 80 games with Remparts, he scored 32 goals, 83 points, and picked up a little French along the way, something that should serve him well with his new team.
“I got to live with two French families when I was in Quebec City and be around the culture. I think it’s a lot of fun,” said Shaw after his first practice on Wednesday. “They love hockey. There’s a lot of passion in these cities and I’m looking forward to it.”
“I have to continue to work on my French now I guess.”
Penalty Kill Specialist
While Shaw works on improving his French, the Canadiens will hope he can help them improve on the ice. Ranked 26th in the league with a 77.9 percent efficiency rating on the penalty kill, Shaw is a welcomed addition to the team. Averaging 2:01 on the penalty kill per game this season, the Glace Bay native has found his way to earn a living in the NHL, and wants to replicate that success in Montreal.
“That’s one of the reasons why I got to stay in the NHL for as long as I have so far, and that was one of my roles in Anaheim, said Shaw. “I took a lot of pride in it and I was happy where I was there.”
Killing penalties will be Shaw’s main responsibility with the Canadiens, but his role will not be limited to just that. With a 6-foot-3, 208-pound frame, along with good decision-making and skating skill, head coach Claude Julien believes Shaw hasn’t shown all he can do at the NHL level yet.
“The thing I was told is that, obviously, he can skate, but he’s probably got an even better upside on the offensive end of his game that probably he hasn’t shown as much of. So maybe he gets an opportunity to show that given a chance here,” said Julien.
Shaw is versatile as well. Playing most of his career on the wing, he can also be used at centre. The Canadiens are desperate for help down the middle with Danault and Andrew Shaw’s injuries, and could turn to Shaw if need be.
“I probably played maybe 20 or 30 games out of the 150 I have [in the NHL],” said Shaw, speaking on his experience at centre. “I just try to diversify my game. I haven’t been great at taking faceoffs right now but it’s something I’m working on. Normally I’m more of a winger but it’s nice to play all the positions.
Shaw Finds Familiar Surrounding
Despite no relation to Andrew Shaw, there is already a sense of familiarity for Logan Shaw as he enters a new NHL dressing room for the third time in four years. Having played with and against several players on the Canadiens roster in junior or the minors, the transition has been easier than expected.
“I played with [Byron] Froese down with Cincinnati in the [ECHL] so he was the first one I talked to when I got here. It’s nice to know someone at least,” said Shaw.
As for his impression of the rest of his new teammates?
“It’s good. They seem like a good group of guys here so it going to be fun.”
After spending his first three seasons in the NHL with the Panthers and Ducks, this will be Shaw’s first taste of a Canadian market. While playing in Montreal can sometimes be overbearing for players who aren’t used to the highly-passionate fan base and enthusiastic local media, Shaw is prepared for what’s ahead of him in this new opportunity.
“I’m super excited to have the opportunity to be a part of such a historic franchise,” said Shaw. “I think it’s a dream come true. It’s hard to explain. I played in Florida and Anaheim and they both have good markets, but this is a whole other level.”
After a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday where some questioned the teams compete level, the Canadiens face the Metropolitan division-leading Washington Capitals on Friday. Julien has no issue re-arranging his lineup, and if he believes some players lacked the required effort against the Bruins, there is a new asset at his disposal.
“I’ll work every shift I’m out there. I’ll do my best to help this team win,” said Shaw. “I think I play a two-way game and I’ll just dig in, play strong defensively and try to chip in offensively whenever I can.