After suffering another concussion in February, Andrew Shaw is going to call it a career. The Chicago Blackhawks forward has announced that he will hang up his skates based on the recommendation of the team’s medical staff. The team fully supports the move to prioritize his long-term health.
Importantly, nowhere in the press release does the word “retire” appear, as Shaw has another year left on his current contract. Official retirement would mean he forfeits the $2.9MM he is set to earn next season. Instead, he will likely be moved to long-term injured reserve whenever the Blackhawks need some extra cap flexibility.
Shaw was an integral part of two different Stanley Cup runs for the Blackhawks, winning in 2013 and 2015. The hard-nosed forward was occupying a checking center role at that point while also contributing a bit at the offensive end. His career-high in points actually came during the 2018-19 season with the Montreal Canadiens when he scored 47 in just 63 games, but that kind of output was never really his calling card in Chicago.
Overall, Shaw will finish his career with 247 points in 544 regular season games, but none of that will compare to a single moment. In 2013, the Blackhawks were in triple overtime in game one of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. After some dirty work in the corner to free up the puck, Shaw tipped a Michal Rozsival shot (well, technically tipped a Dave Bolland tip) past Tuukka Rask to put Chicago up 1-0 in the series.
It’s never easy when a 29-year-old player is forced to retire due to injury, much less when it is concussion-related. But Shaw has already accomplished a lot in his career and will be able to focus on his health moving forward knowing that he is a Stanley Cup champion.