Andrew Shaw Explains His Decision To Retire

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Andrew Shaw Explains His Decision To Retire

Chicago Blackhawks

After ten NHL seasons and winning two Stanley Cups, Andrew Shaw called it a career on Monday morning, ending his tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks in his seventh season with the club.

Shaw, a veteran of 544 NHL games, another 66 in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, and 72 playoff games, has his career end at the age of 29 due to multiple concussions and head injuries sustained over the course of his career. After announcing his retirement in a video posted on the Blackhawks social media channels, he spoke to the media about his career, his decision to retire, and what is next for him after his playing career is over.

Two guys who were heart and soul players for the Blackhawks during the modern-dynasty era have had to call it quits earlier than they probably imagined due to injuries this season. Shaw and Brent Seabrook were two guys who put their bodies on the line every night for the Blackhawks and they paid the price in the end. Sad ways to see their careers come to a close, but they will forever be celebrated in Chicago sports history.

Shaw missed 14 months due to a concussion sustained in late-November of 2019 and forced him to reconsider his playing future before the 2021 season. After being cleared to return to the team in January, Shaw played 14 games in this 2021 season before again suffering a concussion in mid-February that has sidelined him since. Those were not the only two concussions that Shaw suffered in his time in the NHL, or in his entire playing career before then as well.

When you play the game like Andrew Shaw did, the risk of injury is high. But that was the way he had to play to make it to the NHL. Shaw was a fifth-round draft pick by the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Draft after having been undrafted in the previous two years of his eligibility. He was a hard-nosed player who fought and made a living by being physical and playing in the corners and in front of the net. Easy to see why he earned the nickname of “Mutt” in his time playing hockey.

Shaw sees a lot of himself in Blackhawks rookie Brandon Hagel. The comparison has been there pretty much all season for Blackhawks fans, but with Hagel showcasing some better hands and being a faster skater.

In his decision to retire, or rather step away from the game as he has one-year left on his current deal and will spend the 2021-22 season on LTIR for the Blackhawks, Shaw is choosing his future and his family over risking any further injury or damage to himself. He’s active on social media, in the community, and has a number of initiatives off the ice that he is involved with, including being a brand ambassador for Ducky Brand Clothing. It appears post-hockey life will still be busy for him.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.