January 9th, 2015 was a busy day for the Flames. They said goodbye to Brian McGrattan and Corban Knight, the former being waived for the purpose of reassignment and the latter being traded for today's subject: Drew Shore. The player-for-player swap with the Panthers brought the AHL All-Star and former second round pick to Calgary.
It wasn't a blockbuster deal, but the Flames still got away with robbery. The Panthers had their hands tied due to Shore's waiver-exempt status expiring, and sent him packing to a team that wouldn't be constantly shuffling him between leagues. With no sweeteners thrown in, the Flames found a better version of Knight in Shore, so the trade was an immediate win.
Despite the upgrade, the team used Shore quite sparingly, only drawing in the lineup 12 times. Taking that into consideration, we present M&G's grades for Shore's truncated season:
It would have been nice to see more of Drew Shore. He was acquired halfway through the season, and while waiver complications initially limited his play with the Flames, he only ended up dressing 12 times. He looked like a pretty good pickup over those 12 games, though. Like Josh Jooris, he’s a right-shooting centre, which is something the Flames desperately need - less the centre part, more the righty - so it’d be great to see him win a full time spot next season and actually be utilized.
He looks like a decent enough option, and is probably better than a handful of guys who played throughout the year. Also, he now requires waivers. Let’s see more of what he can do.
Mike Fail (C-):
I would have loved to see Drew Shore utilized over a few folks in the roster as there is reason to believe that he could be good in a bottom six role. The reluctance to use him on the RW was strange. He is a right-shooting forward, which was needed at times (pretty often actually) this season.
Hopefully he sticks around so we can see more of him.
Drew Shore? More like Who Shore. Shore barely played and when he did he didn’t really stick out all that much. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering the Flames deployed players who stuck out for the wrong reasons. He looked like an okay bottom six player when he did play and it should be interesting to see whether he progresses from that or if that’s simply his role.
Drew Shore for Corban Knight seemed like a great deal for the Flames. He didn’t play much, but when he did, he fit in. I don’t recall any glaring mistakes he made on the ice either. He seemed like a solid presence on the bottom six. I only wish he could have had more ice time. Major bonus: right-handed skater. Hopefully he can transition into a more steady right winger role next season.
We didn’t see a whole lot of him, but he certainly looks comfortable as a bottom six player. Hopefully he’ll find a permanent role on the team; he seems like a very good fit.
A definite upgrade on Corban Knight, I don’t think we saw enough of what Shore is about. I hope he’s given a fair shot next year, although he’ll inevitably have to move to the wing permanently with the Flames’ strength at centre.
Drew Shore came to Calgary as a possession darling, though in his limited playing time with the Flames (12 games) he was out-possessed and out-scored by significant margins. This is a small sample from a player adapting to a new system, so don’t read into it too much. Shore’s numbers from Florida and his 6’3" frame suggest that he can be a solid shutdown forward.
We're all in the same boat here on Shore: he's an upgrade on Knight, and we'd love to see more of him. His flashes of goodness in a small sample size earns him a C.
As a pending RFA with a limited amount of NHL experience, he can probably come back for cheap on a bridge deal: think Paul Byron's contract this previous season. The only difficulty involved is that he is no longer waiver eligible so any deal with him requires that he stay in the NHL. With a roster that has little mobility (either between AHL/NHL or through trading), Shore might have to be the roving healthy scratch, which wouldn't be good for his development or his happiness.
With a few other RFAs that need qualifying, all of who have played more games than Shore, it looks more and more like he is the odd man out. While I'm sure management wouldn't give up on an asset that quickly, especially one that has the potential he does, they're going to have to do some very careful maneuvering to make sure he is in a position to contribute on the team.