Had he played in the 80s, or even the early to mid 90s, Adrew Shaw would have been a straight up enforcer. Hard to imagine at his size. Shaw brought more than toughness, and physicality though. He was quite nifty around the goal. He took the pounding in front of the net, few seemed to want to do. His time came, and he wanted to get paid for it. Which is understandable. However, like Saad last year, it’s Stan’s price or the highway.
That is the unfortunate part of the salary cap era. The Blackhawks lost another key member of their championship core on Friday. Though, they did get 2 second round draft picks in return. Andrew Shaw is now a Montreal Canadien. Shaw was a fan favorite, including this blogger. He was smaller in stature, but he played a huge role: enforcer, net presence, tone setter, attitude adjuster.
Unlike most positions, you can’t simply add another forward or a defenseman and replace what Shaw brings to the table. I’m not sure the Hawks have another Andrew Shaw on their roster or in their organization. Andrew Ladd maybe, but I don’t know if the Hawks can keep him with their salary cap status.
Artem Anisimov is fantastic on Kane’s line. He will go to the net and do some work. He’s pretty tough too. Not sure they would want him starting to be more physical. His role is pretty set.
If Ladd somehow is able to stay, that would ease the burden a bit, but Ladd is an older player (30). Not quite the young “pup” Andrew Shaw is (24). He might be less willing to do the “dirty work” game in and game out in an 82 game season.
The Blackawks don’t play as physical a game as most teams do, they rely on skill, speed, and finesse. That being said, you have to hit, and you have to protect Toews, Kane, and Panarin. Speaking of Panarin, the Hawks have to find some money for him too.
The 2016 squad is already going to look a lot different, Shaw is gone, and a couple of weeks ago they traded Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen. The later two, less productive than in their previous championship runs. It will be interesting to see how the team plays going forward. Other pieces will be added through the draft and maybe free agency/trades. One thing is for sure, they will be down a little on attitude.