Logan Shaw is one of the veteran forwards returning to play for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks this season. He is entering his third year with the team and his veteran expertise is imperative heading into such an unusual season.
Shaw grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and began his hockey career playing for Springbank minor hockey, where he carried his abilities to the northwest quadrant, and eventually to the Silverbacks.
“My dad was the one who really started me in hockey, the first time I remember watching hockey with my dad was the Oilers in the 2006 (Stanley) cup final, and ever since then I grew to love the sport.”
There is always a significant memory to jump-start everyone’s hockey career, a spark that ignited the flame, and for Shaw, it was the jump from peewee to bantam.
“I was 13 going into my first year of bantam and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue hockey. However, over the summer I talked with my dad and decided to start seriously training and well, the rest is history.”
The peewee to bantam jump tends to see a separation in players as quadrant teams open up across the city. Shaw was heading into his bantam season, coming off the peewee four team.
Player of the game. Way to go captain. pic.twitter.com/eUSl3zvmXn
— NWCAA U18 AAA Flames (@FlamesU18AAA) October 22, 2017
That summer, Shaw buckled down and took off-season training to the next level. It definitely paid off as he made the jump to bantam AA of the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association. It’s where he played all of his bantam and midget years until joining the Silverbacks.
One of the biggest stepping stones for a hockey player can be the jump from midget to junior. Shaw mentioned that the jump is one of the biggest in terms of skill and knowing your role on the team.
“Players are more skilled, bigger, and the experience of playing in the league definitely shows on the ice. The game changes so much at this level and you need to play your role, you can’t be a one-way guy.”
The jump players make to junior hockey isn’t easy, but trying out for a team and cracking a roster may not be the hardest part. They a huge transition in their lives as they leave home in pursuit of their hockey endeavours.
“Moving away from my family (was tough). We are a very tight knight group (and they) have always supported me. Living by myself was a big change that took some time getting used to.”
Shaw and the Silverbacks
We know hockey players have always had weird superstitions and game day routines. Shaw and the Silverbacks are no exception to that.
“I always show up two hours and fifteen minutes before the game, get into the room, (and the) first thing I do is tape my game stick. Once we’re through warm-up, I’ll sit on the bench and visualize my game. Before the game, I have a pre-ritual handshake with (Drew) Bennett and (Hunter) Sansbury. We do that before every game.”
“During the anthem, I rock back and forth on my skates and just focus on my breathing. I usually get 10 solid breaths in that calm and ease my mind before puck drop”
Superstitions not only prepare players for the game but allow them to get in the right headspace. A hockey player’s mentality going into games has to be that of a warrior.
“It’s a split between excitement and nervousness. I try and be loud and vocal (to) help get rid of the antsy energy, but the biggest part is focusing on my role in the game and playing my part.”
It’s time for #TriviaTuesday!
— Salmon Arm Silverbacks (@SASilverbacks) November 17, 2020
With Shaw going into his third season, he is part of the leadership corps with the ‘A’ stapled on his chest. He is one of the veterans on the team and a notable leader, which isn’t without its challenges.
“We definitely changed the culture, we made it a goal that no team will out work us. We got a glimpse of it last season when our hard work paid off later on in the season. As long as we keep doing the work day in and day out, it will pay off.”
Not only do these leaders have a big role in the team’s mentality, but they are also role models for the newcomers on the team.
“I see guys fighting to get in the lineup, which is something I can relate to from my rookie season. I want to show them if they continue to work hard they can earn their spot on the team and in the lineup (every night).”
Growing to love the community of Salmon Arm
For Shaw to capture his experience in Salmon Arm in one sentence is easy.
“It’s become my second home.”
Shaw has had a notable career in Salmon Arm, and shared some pretty interesting experiences with the Silverbacks over the years.
“The community is a huge part of it, there’s a great atmosphere in the rink, and the town’s (always) curious about what’s going on with the team. The community is really up to date with the players. Just going about my day, lots of people ask about the games, they know who you are, and they are really invested. It really is an awesome place to play.”
Shaw is facing his final BCHL season in Salmon Arm and hoping it opens future opportunities to continue his career. As for a legacy to leave future Silverbacks players, it’s something Shaw has thought about.
“The biggest thing I could leave is that it doesn’t matter about the name on the back of your jersey, it matters about the logo on the front. That is something I have struggled and dealt with. Nothing’s ever given, it’s always earned.”
It’s sage advice from a player who gives his all every night to make teammates and fans of his hometown team proud.