The news is a few days old by now, but the Blackhawks traded Andrew Shaw to Montreal on Friday during the NHL Draft. The Hawks got a pair of second round picks in return, to me a meager sum when compared to the memories Shaw has provided.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think the deal had to happen. The Hawks were pinned in a corner, and got the best return they possibly could. Two picks are incredibly valuable, let’s get that straight right off the bat.
If there’s one thing I have learned since “entering the Blackhawks blogosphere” (whatever that means) it’s that Shaw isn’t a very popular guy here. Talented writers/bloggers have had many complaints regarding position and aspects of his game (**The CI pointed out in their piece that most of the anger came from Shaw’s usage, not necessarily his play.)
Andrew Shaw has been one of my favorite players over the past few years. Love covers a multitude of sins, and that’s probably how I’ll remember Andrew Shaw’s time as a Blackhawk. For me, the passion and excitement he provided covered up the dumb penalties he took from time to time.
Andrew Shaw is one of those guys you love to have on your team, but you hate to play against. He’s a pain in the ass for opponents, and that resonates in Chicago. Shaw brought an element of toughness and grit to Blackhawks hockey for the past four seasons, and instantly became a fan favorite. He scored a career-high 20 goals during the 2013-14 regular season, and last year tallied 14 going into a summer where he would be a restricted free agent.
It’s no secret that the Blackhawks are currently in salary cap hell, already having to part ways with Saad/Teuvo/Johns and others over the past two summers. There were serious questions about whether or not the Hawks were going to be able to feasibly re-sign Shaw. When reports came out during the week that Shaw’s camp was looking for 4.5 million from the Hawks I knew it was over. There was no way the Blackhawks were going to be able to afford that, especially for a bottom six forward.
As the title suggested, I will really miss watching Andrew Shaw play for the Blackhawks.
He has been a part of some incredible moments for this fanbase during the past four seasons. I’ve always been convinced that Andrew Shaw is the type of guy who would play hockey for free. His grit, passion and genuine love for the game resonated in this city and with these fans.
Despite the current direction of the sport, there’s still a basic need for a little grit in the game of hockey. I am certainly not in the “ban fighting” crowd, and sure as heck not part of the “MOAR HITZ” crowd. But I understand that there’s always gonna be some need for a guy like Shaw on any hockey team. He provided the Hawks with energy, physicality, toughness, and at the same time a little bit of offense as well. Shaw was an exciting player to watch, I don’t think anyone can deny that.
His name will be forever engraved in Blackhawks history with two Stanley Cup championships during his time here. In those playoffs he provided some of the best moments in recent memory. From the triple overtime winner in Game 1 of the 2013 Final (Even though it luckily bounced off his shinpads, he was still going to the front of the net as usual, and fans love that), to his disallowed header goal in OT of Game 2 vs. Anaheim, to his goals in Game 6 of that series to help the Hawks force a Game 7, en route to another Cup. The moment was never too big for Andrew Shaw, and his passion and enthusiasm always reflected that.
I’m going to miss seeing him in a Hawks sweater, and I wish him all the best in Montreal.
Thank you, Shawzie.
Also, who can ever forget this? Hilarious!