Monday: According to CapFriendly, Shore has cleared waivers and is now eligible to play though it’s not yet clear when he would debut.
Sunday: Former-NHLer Drew Shore is a current-NHLer once again. Shore is on entry waivers today and has signed with the Vancouver Canucks for the remainder of the season, per a team announcement. Shore makes his way back from Europe after playing this season with EHC Kloten of the Swiss National League A (NLA). It is because he played overseas this year while not being on Vancouver’s reserve list that he has to clear waivers before he can join the team.
Rarely does leaving the NHL work out as well for one’s hockey career as it has thus far for Shore. A second-round pick of the Florida Panthers back in 2009 and the brother of the L.A. Kings’ Nick Shore, Kings’ minor-leaguer Quentin Shore, and 2017 draft-eligible Baker Shore, a lot was expected of the eldest of a talented hockey family out of Denver, Colorado. However, Shore struggled to find his footing in the NHL early on, scoring just 20 points in 67 games with the Panthers over the course of his first two pro seasons. In 2014-15, Shore had not played a single NHL game by mid-January, when he was dealt to the Calgary Flames. The trade made matters worse, as Shore was only given 13 games with Flames in a season and a half with the organization and scored only four points in that time. Tired of the minors and his lack of production at the highest level in North America, the 26-year-old center signed with Kloten in Switzerland this summer. In the NLA, Shore seemed to finally find his game, recording 24 goals and 24 assists in 50 games. His 24 goals ranked third in the league, while his 48 total points finished sixth. Shore achieved these numbers on a team that was significantly less talented than most of its competition and featured only one other former NHL forward, James Sheppard. Shore carried the squad and helped them to avoid relegation.
Now that Shore has re-established his game, at least in what many consider the second-best hockey league in Europe, he is going to try his hand at the NHL once more. His signing with Vancouver is yet another shrewd move to add to the recent streak of GM Jim Benning. Shore is still young and spent the last year dominating talented competition and developing the open, offensive European game that the Canucks try to implement. The team is out of playoff contention – though Shore would not have been eligible to compete anyway – but can still take the rest of the season to assess their new asset for his future fit. Gambling on Shore is a low-risk, high-reward investment for Benning as well as something for disheartened Vancouver fans to follow for the remainder of the season. Little downside for the team, fans, or player in this scenario.