Andrew Shaw traded by Blackhawks to Montreal for picks

Apr 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) is pursued by St. Louis Blues left wing Alexander Steen (20) during the first period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO, NY – The cap purge continues for the Chicago Blackhawks

Forward Andrew Shaw, a pending restricted free agent, was traded in the first moments of the NHL Draft on Friday night to the Montreal Canadiens, who traded two second-round picks in 2016 (including one that was owned by the Minnesota Wild previously). They’re Nos. 39 and 45 overall.

Shaw, 24, played 322 games for the Blackhawks and scored 137 points, playing a vital role on their 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup teams. His physical play and presence around the net will be missed.

But in the grand tradition of Blackhawks postseason purges, his ask proved too rich for them. Shaw was looking for around $4.5 million against the cap. To pay him would be to say goodbye to Marcus Kruger, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Hawks seemingly didn’t want to do that.

So Shaw is now Canadiens property, and the Blackhawks get some cap breathing room. Question is, for what?