Can the Chicago Blackhawks Retain Andrew Shaw?

Andrew Shaw received a $1.5 million dollar raise from this year to last. Now after a Round 1 exit Shaw becomes a restricted free-agent (RFA).

An RFA is a player no longer on his entry level contract but still not eligible for the label of an unrestricted free agent (UFA). To be a UFA in the NHL, a player has to be over the age of 27, or have a minimum of 7 years in the league. Andrew Shaw will be entering his age 25 season. As of right now, he’s completed his second NHL contract of 2yrs/$4,000,000 and some are wondering if Andrew Shaw has played his last game with the Blackhawks.

Joel Quenneville called Shaw “irreplaceable” last Wednesday at an end of the season presser. Shaw led the Hawks with a series high 4 goals in the against the St. Louis Blues. He did this even receiving a suspension for Game 6 due to his direction of  homophobic slurs towards a game referee. He has since apologized for his remarks and said he will never use those words again.

Shaw was a versatile player for the Hawks and played up and down the lineup, playing at the depth positions, on the 3rd & 4th line, while also taking spots on the top line when injuries were present.

The salary cap for next season could be as high as $74 million according to Commissioner Gary Bettman. The problem is that the Hawks do not have the wiggle room in the cap as it stands and even when it may rise, it probably will not be enough to satisfy Shaw’s wants.

Shaw has been pretty good at not being an injury prone player while also keeping his point production at a consistent level and being that ‘wake up’ guy on the bench when things start to go south. Everyone know’s their role on the team and Shaw is competing with that recognition. He posted 14 goals & 20 assist in 78 games in ’15-16. The front office can certainly appreciate that.

Stan Bowman is the guy that Hawks fans can count on to make the right move. He tried to do so this time around the trade deadline, getting Andrew Ladd, Christian Ehrhoff, Tomas Fleischmann, and Dale Weise. These players turned out not to boost production like last years acquisition of Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen was last trade deadline. Even the trade for these two were not ‘over the top’ moves, but these guys showed at the right times leading to a Stanley Cup. And it was all about knowing their roles.

Nevertheless, this Round 1 exit should not knock Stan Bowman’s knowledge of a players fit.

Brian Bickell’s contract comes into question when trying to work it out with Shaw because it is the contract that could give Bowman and the organization more $$ to free up for Shaw. They are also losing Andrew Ladd’s and Christian Ehrhoff’s cap hit to free agency.

Shaw says he hope both parties can “make it work” so he does not have to leave the organization he wants to continue being a part of.





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