Andrew Shaw started chirping right away. A few lines for Jonathan Toews. A few more for a couple new teammates.
It was like he never left.
Trying for a turnaround after two down years, the Chicago Blackhawks once again dipped into their past as part of a flurry of offseason moves. General manager Stan Bowman reacquired Shaw in a trade with Montreal in June, looking to add more grit and energy to a lineup that seemed like it needed a spark at times last year.
The 28-year-old Shaw returns to Chicago a married father, with another child on the way. But the pesky forward said his game remains very similar.
"Maybe just a little less reckless," he said. "Still physical, still hits, but just try not to lead with my head anymore."
Shaw was selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015 before he was dealt to the Canadiens three years ago.
The addition of Shaw gives coach Jeremy Colliton another versatile piece. He could grab a spot on one of Chicago's top two lines, or provide some offense on the third or fourth group. Shaw set career highs with 28 assists and 47 points in his final season with Montreal. He scored a career-best 20 goals during the 2013-14 season with the Blackhawks.
"Whether he's top six or he could be on the fourth line, he's still going to contribute," Colliton said. "We want to have that sort of personality throughout our lineup. I think we have a bunch of guys who can move up and down."
Shaw became one of Chicago's most beloved players during his first stint with the team, and he said he has been greeted warmly since he came back this summer.
"Love. I mean pure love. It's awesome," he said. "People coming up to you, recognizing you, glad to have you back, saying they missed you. It feels good. It feels good to be loved."