Andrew Shaw Contract Drying Ink: Canadiens Sign Restricted Free Agent

Shaw celebrates what Habs fans hope to be many in Montreal (Photo: James Guillory, USA TODAY Sports)

Shaw celebrates what Habs fans hope to be many in Montreal (Photo: James Guillory, USA TODAY Sports)

The ink is still wet but the reactions are coming in hot in light of the soon-to-be 25 year old Andrew Shaw’s contract being finalized by Pat Brisson, Marc Bergevin and company.  The deal spans the originally reported six years but for a lower term than was expected.  While many had anticipated somewhere to the tune of $4,500,000 per season, the actual dollar amount on an average annual basis is $3,900,000 per season with no reported fluctuation on a year-by-year basis.


The new hit comes slightly under the mark of doubling his previous contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.  The deal marks a significant calculated gamble as the Canadiens find themselves with a player in Andrew Shaw who quickly amassed playoff experience, winning two Stanley Cups in his five year career.  Due to seeing so much ice in such long seasons so early in his career, it is easy to forget how young Shaw really is and that he will be just shy of 31 years old when this deal expires.


Shaw brings a little bit of everything that Canadiens fans have been yearning for: playoff experience, championship credentials, skill blended with sandpaper, playing bigger than his relatively average stature and perhaps most of all: the reputation of a playoff performer.  Andrew Shaw is the type of player that everyone loves to have and hates to oppose; undoubtedly a fan favorite of the Chicago Blackhawks as the reaction was nearly unanimous sadness when he was dealt out of town.  Expect Andrew Shaw to be a tremendous addition to the Brendan Gallagher factor: right up in the face of the opposition with a high motor mean streak.


Comparable contracts would be the aforementioned Brendan Gallagher, Matt Beleskey, Wayne Simmonds and Benoit Pouliot; a similar player, an overpaid guy who had one good season on a line with Getzlaf and Perry, an absolute beast winger and a guy that will unfortunately be forever tagged as a draft bomb.  Shaw’s contract comparable examples indicate that he may not be an outright bargain but he is certainly of fair value to all parties involved.  What will be intriguing to watch unfold going forwards is how his level sustains or hopefully even rises as the games roll on.


The prevalent hope is that Shaw can become a full time second line left winger and reach the twenty goal plateau at least a few times in this span.  That being said, should Shaw find himself as a regular third liner, the going rate for third liners is roughly around his average annual value.  As long as neither the salary cap nor Shaw’s play suffers a considerable drop, all should be kosher in Habs Land.


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