Saturday, January 10, 2015

Getting to Know Drew Shore: Ex-Teammates and the Flames GM Share Their Thoughts

Like a lion stalking its prey, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving said he's been closely following Florida prospect Drew Shore for a while and on Thursday he finally got him.

In a trade that interestingly enough was announced just prior to the Flames game with the Panthers, the 23-year-old right hand-shooting center, who also plays right wing, was acquired in exchange for minor league centre Corban Knight.

"I was in Toronto over the last week and saw him. I specifically tracked this guy real hard the last little bit. We feel we've got a good read on him," said Treliving.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Shore has spent the entire 2014-15 season with Florida's AHL affiliate in San Antonio, where he's tied for 12th in league scoring with 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists) in 35 games.

Could be in the NHL Right Now

Shore was drafted in the second round, 44th overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft. While most of his pro career has been spent in the AHL, having played 134 games with the Rampage, it has included significant time in the NHL too with 67 games with the Panthers on his resume.

You get the sense he'd probably be flying in chartered planes instead of riding minor league buses right now if not for the fact he becomes eligible for waivers after his next NHL game.

"He's got an issue right now. He's got one game until he needs waivers," said Treliving. "A big part of why he's not with (Florida) right now is just that. This player wouldn't have gone through waivers."

In other words, the next time he's called up from the AHL, it better be for good or you're probably going to lose him if you try to send him back down.

Treliving said he likes Shore's size but the whole package is what attracted him.

"We talk about up-front trying to get bigger, but not just getting big shoe sizes, getting players that we think can play. I think this guy has some real upside," said Treliving. "A real smart player, an offensive player in college who has learned now to play both sides of the puck and move. He plays with pace but lots of range."

Coming up together in the Panthers organization, Florida rookie centre Vincent Trocheck is very familiar with Shore. They played together in San Antonio, in Florida and also last spring when both were part of Team USA (along with Johnny Gaudreau) at the IIHF World Championships.

"Great player," said Trocheck. "Two-way centre with a lot of skill and he's got great vision and a great IQ for the game. He'll get you points on the power play, blocked shots on the penalty kill. He's definitely the kind of guy that you'd want on your team."

In 2009-10, Flames forward Joe Colborne was a teammate of Shore at tbe University of Denver. Colborne's second (and last) year and Shore's first year was their only year together.

"He's one of my best buddies from Denver so I'm extremely excited that he's now a part of the organization," said Colborne. "He's going to be a good player for a long time."

Colborne says Shore can contribute in many ways.

"He's got a real good shot. He's like a dual threat though. He can also make plays. We played together on the power play in Denver and had some good chemistry. He's pretty good on face-offs, pretty big size down the middle. He's going to be an asset, for sure."

Quality Person Off the Ice

While there sounds like a lot to like about Shore's game on the ice, he sounds like a quality person off the ice as well and that's a pretty important ingredient for the Flames, who have a tight group in the dressing room. 

"Awesome kid," said Colborne. "Doesn't surprise me with this management, they do their homework and they asked certain guys -- I can't say who may or may not have been asked about him, but he's another character guy and that's the type of people we want to bring into this organization."

Ya, about that. Colborne was one of 'those guys'. His poker face is terrible. He was pretty much grinning the entire time he was talking about Shore.

"As a person, Drew's one of my favourite guys to play with. Just a great locker room guy," said Trocheck. "Everybody loved him. Nobody disliked him on the team. He's a great guy, nice to everybody. If the guys on the team are doing something -- going to grab a bite to eat or going golfing, he's always right there. He loves being with the guys. One of the better guys that I've played with."

While sad to see him go, Trocheck said he's excited to see Shore get a chance with a new organization.

"He's a great kid and he deserves well and at this point, he was kind of hoping for this so I am happy for him," said Trocheck. "I sent him a text earlier today when I heard about the deal and congratulated him and wished him well in his new opportunity."

When it comes to being traded, Colborne is already a wily vet having been dealt twice already since being chosen by the Boston Bruins 16th overall in 2008. He says he'll reach out to Shore on Saturday morning.

"He's going to be going through a whirlwind. I've been through it before. I'm going to be on the phone to him on the way over to the rink and just see if I can help him out with anything," said Colborne, "Your whole life gets thrown into turmoil and you have to pretty much pick up everything and get out here as soon as possible."

Could be Recalled to the Flames Soon

While Treliving wouldn't say how quickly Shore would be recalled by Calgary, you sure get the sense that it might be soon.

"I'll talk to Bob (Hartley) on the plane tonight and the next couple days we'll figure out what the time line is," said Treliving. "He could be coming right away. He might be a guy that's there in Adirondack for a period of time, we don't know. For us, it's adding an asset that we think has real upside."

Conveniently enough, the Flames could open up a spot in the line-up at centre very easily.

It was on Thursday afternoon that Calgary demoted centre Markus Granlund to Adirondack, only to immediately recall him -- before he could even check out of his hotel, when rookie centre Josh Jooris (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Friday morning.

Granlund could very well be headed East again -- this time for real, on the heels of a minus-three night against Florida. The worst of the three even-strength goals against the line of Granlund, Paul Byron and Mason Raymond, was the game-winner, which came 45 seconds after a good effort from David Jones and nice finish by Matt Stajan had tied the game 5-5 with less than four minutes to go.

"Do we want to see him here? Ya, we do. Is that going to happen tomorrow? No," said Treliving.

While Treliving was non-committal about the possible timing of a recall beyond that, he did make it clear that Shore's waiver situation is not something he's concerned with.

"I'm not worried about the waivers. We think we've got a good player. We'll figure that part out," said Treliving. "I told him you go down (to Adirondack) and we'll go from there."

Who knows, maybe that No. 10 Flames jersey that just became available with Knight's departure will be re-issued in the very near future.

With Calgary having lost three games in a row -- and all at home, an infusion of some fresh blood for this upcoming road trip may not be such a bad idea.


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