Canadiens trade Lars Eller to Caps, acquire Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw

The Montreal Canadiens got the trading started Friday night during the first round of the NHL draft, sending center Lars Eller to the Washington Capitals and acquiring forward Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks in separate deals.

The Blackhawks in return for Shaw got a pair of second-round picks in this weekend's draft (39th and 45th overall).

"It was a very difficult decision," said Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman. "We love what Andrew's brought to the team. We certainly wish him the best. He gave his heart and soul to the team. Sometimes those are tough decisions you have to make. But we're excited about where we're going.

"You have to replenish players and bring young guys in and to do that you have to have draft picks," Bowman added. "We have 10 picks now in the draft.''

With the trade, the Blackhawks no longer have to make any more moves that are salary-cap related.

"We have enough room now, yeah," Bowman said. "Whether we make moves to make moves remains to be seen, but we don't have a salary-cap problem."

The Habs got a pair of second-round picks from Washington for Eller, one in 2017 and the other in 2018.

Shaw is a restricted free agent, and the salary cap-challenged Hawks were having a tough time re-signing him.

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was a scout in Chicago when the Blackhawks drafted Shaw and knows the player well.

Bergevin said he completed the trade "because I believe in leadership and character."

"He's won two Stanley Cups, only played five years in the league, he's a proven winner and I know he can help our dressing room," Bergevin said.