The Chicago Blackhawks have decided to place Andrew Shaw on long-term injured reserve, retroactive to November 30th. Shaw is out with a concussion and his new designation means he will be out at least until the Christmas break. With the added roster space, the team has recalled Adam Boqvist and Matthew Highmore from the minor leagues.
Shaw, 28, has dealt with several neck and head injuries in the past, even going into devastating detail of his symptoms with Eric Engels of Sportsnet in 2017. At that point Shaw was trying to help expose the danger involved in the “tough” attitude of playing through brain injuries, but more than two years later it stands as a troubling reminder of how he has suffered in the past.
The Blackhawks will obviously have to take it slow with Shaw’s recovery, but hopefully this time he has the support and knowledge to help him through the symptoms. For now, the team will have to move on without him in the lineup.
Boqvist’s recall is a positive move, but it will bring up several questions. If the 19-year old plays in another four games in the NHL his entry-level contract will kick in for 2019-20, burning the first season. This also likely means he won’t be released for the World Juniors, a tournament he is still eligible for despite playing professional hockey this season. Camps for that tournament are opening this week, though the flashy defenseman would probably be welcomed into Sweden’s group without going through the regular selection process.