CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw announced his retirement from the NHL on Monday, following a series of concussions.
“There comes a time when every athlete needs to realize their health is a priority and the future with their family is most important. That time for me is now. After several concussions, the doctors strongly recommend that I stop playing the game that I love, and for the first time in my life, I’m going to listen,” Shaw said in a video the team posted on social media.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Warming Trend Continues, Rain Chances Persist
“Thank you for giving a Mutt a home.”
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 26, 2021
Shaw, 29, won two Stanley Cups in seven seasons with Chicago, and spent three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. However, injuries severely limited his playing time for the Blackhawks the past two seasons, when he was on the ice for less than half of the team’s games.
He hasn’t played since suffering a concussion on Feb. 9 against the Dallas Stars.
“Though he has recovered, given the potential long-term consequences of repetitive concussions, we have advised him to discontinue his career as a professional hockey player. The Blackhawks are very supportive of his decision to prioritize his long-term health,” team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement.READ MORE: 3 Men Injured In River North Parking Garage Shooting, One Identified In Video As Rapper Lil Reese; Officer's Gun Also Accidentally Discharged
Shaw was passed over twice in the NHL Draft before the Blackhawks selected him in the 5th round in 2011. Though he was never one of the top dogs on the Blackhawks, Shaw quickly became a fan favorite, earning the nickname “Mutt” for his fearless and rough style of play.
“My first game as a rookie with the Chicago Blackhawks still sticks out in my mind. In my second shift, I had my first fight in the National Hockey League. I followed that up with my first NHL goal in the second period. From that point on, I knew I had a chance to be this team’s underdog. A player that could represent the city of Chicago’s blue-collar mentality. Be their mutt if you will,” he said.
Shaw was traded to Montreal after the 2015 championship, but returned to Chicago in 2019.
Shaw had 75 goals and 76 assists in 362 games with the Blackhawks, winning Stanley Cups with the team in 2013 and 2015, even netting the game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins in 2013.
Over his 10-season career, he logged a total of 544 games with Chicago and Montreal, scoring 116 goals and 131 assists.
“I am extremely proud of what I accomplished in my career, and I want to make it clear that I would not change anything about it. I won two Stanley Cups, made lifelong friends – and some enemies, too – and will cherish those memories for the rest of my life,” Shaw said. “Most of all, I will miss the fans. I was lucky enough to play in two of the best hockey cities in the world in Chicago and Montreal, and I am grateful for my experiences with all of you. I gave everything I had every single night, and you’re one of the reasons why this is the toughest decision in my life. I want to thank you for giving a mutt a home, and a chance to live out my childhood dream.”
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said Shaw was an integral part of the team, growing into a leader in the locker room.
“Throughout his 10-year career with the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens, Andrew was always willing to lay his body on the line and put his teammates before himself. He epitomized energy, determination, grit, and toughness and was a player his teammates loved to play with, but his opponents hated to play against,” Bowman said.MORE NEWS: At Least 31 People Wounded In Weekend Gun Violence In Chicago, 5 Killed