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Drew Shore to head back to Switzerland, signs with Lions

It was a worthwhile experiment, but also a short one. The NLA’s Zurich Lions announced today that they’ve signed forward Drew Shore to a two-year contract, effectively ending his tenure in Vancouver after just 14 games.

From Zurich’s official press release:

We are happy to announce the signing of Drew Shore. The American centre has signed a two-year contract with the ZSC Lions, until 2019.

Shore played 53 games for EHC Kloten last season, earning 51 points (24 goals and 27 assists). When Kloten were eliminated from playoff contention, Shore went to the Vancouver Canucks for the rest of the season. There, the 26-year-old played 14 games (two assists).

“Drew showed what he could do in Switzerland last season,” said Lions General Manager Sven Leuenberger. “As a right-handed shot, he can be particularly valuable on the powerplay and penalty kill.”

Shore’s ice time in Vancouver was rather limited, with no rhyme or reason to who he would slot up with. His most common forward linemates were Griffen Molino, Brandon Sutter, Joseph Cramarossa, Joseph Labate, Reid Boucher, and Jayson Megna; hardly a group that is going to allow you to give an offensive audition. All the same, it’s not like there were high expectations for him, given that he entered his audition with just 24 points in 80 career NHL games.

More than anything, the Canucks appeared to hope for some bottom line utility out of the 6’3 centre, which probably isn’t as lucrative or enjoyable for Shore as being a top-line forward in an emerging league. Just as importantly, staying in Switzerland gives him a real opportunity to represent Team USA in the 2018 Olympics if the NHL continues to hold steady with its willingness not to take part.

Overall, this isn’t the most vital loss in the world for the Canucks, though it’s still something to note.

    • TheRealPB

      What are you talking about? The Canucks were hamstrung by injuries, a lack of depth, and trades of a couple of veteran forwards at the trade deadline. They added a few pieces at the meaningless end of the season to literally fill out the roster. It was basically audition time for AHL and bottom six depth, some of whom did nothing and some of whom showed enough that they might be brought back this year (Cramarossa and Molino most likely). Actually, the Cramarossa and Boucher pick-ups are among the more astute ones that the Canucks have made in a few years off the waivers. Drew Shore is a few years older and didn’t bring in much.

      • Neil B

        The primary aspect of bringing in Shore was to not use up one of their four AHL call-ups while the farm team was still in the playoff hunt. I don’t think the team intended to sign him in the off-season, although they likely would have changed their minds if Shore forced the issue with his play. To Shore, it was a chance to audition at the NHL level.

        • Dan B

          Yeah, it was a good signing decision for all involved. The team didn’t burn the limited number of AHL call-ups they had. It kept the AHL guys playing meaningful games in a tight playoff race instead of being a healthy scratch for a team that was just running out the clock on the season. Shore got a nice paycheck and a chance to show his stuff in the NHL.

  • I guess there wasn’t a spot available for him. With Horvat, Sedin, and Sutter taking up the top three center jobs, and Gaunce taking the fourth, there is no room. Also, doesn’t sound like he was given much of a chance. Another victim of Willie’s deployment decisions.
    If Vegas scoops up Gaunce, we may regret not having Shore.

  • Killer Marmot

    In the fall, the Canucks are going to have about eight forwards who are shoe-ins, with Gaunce, Goldobin, Dahlen, Virtanen, Molino, Dorsett, Megna, and perhaps Biega, Cramarossa, Boucher, Chaput, and Rodin, all vying for the remaining four or five spots.

    It’s actually a bit crowded.

    • Sami Ohlund

      The conventional spelling of the noun meaning a sure winner is shoo-in, not shoe-in. The term uses the verb shoo, which means to urge something in a desired direction, usually by waving one’s arms. The idea behind the word is that the person being shooed—for example, into the winner’s circle, into a job, or into a field of award nominees—is such a lock that we can shoo him or her in without hesitation … The term originated in the early 20th century. The earliest instances relate to horse racing, with the shoo-ins being horses that are destined to win through either dominance or race fixing … earliest instance listed in the OED is from 1928 …. by the 1960s it was in use outside horse racing.
      From grammartist.com

    • Psych Major

      “staying in Switzerland gives him (Drew Shore) a real opportunity to represent Team Canada in the 2018 Olympics!

      Wow – what an embarrassing humiliation for the blogger that he cannot even do basic research to find out that Drew Shore was born in Denver Colorado and has played for the US at both junior and senior level!

      We call this ‘egg-on-face’ syndrome… over to you Jeffrey….

  • Ronning4ever

    I thought the Shore signing was interesting from a team/asset management angle more than anything else. Here’s what the former CA editor wrote about the Shore signing a few months back:

    “The Canucks only get four post-trade deadline call-ups. They’re injury depleted and have two available to them as is. Drew Shore is a centre, and unless I’m mistaken (certainly a possibility), he doesn’t count against their call-up limit. In that sense, this is a pretty damn savvy move by the Canucks’ front office.

    At one point, I thought Shore might carve out a career as a semi-useful bottom six forward. He’s 26-years-old, so that ship’s likely sailed, but I don’t hate spending a contract to try and unearth something down the stretch.”