Under the advisement of the team’s physician, Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is retiring from the NHL at age 29 to focus on his long-term health.
“Andrew suffered another concussion on February 9 against the Dallas Stars,” said Dr. Michael Terry, the Blackhawks’ primary team doctor. “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.”
A member of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship teams in 2013 and 2015, Shaw appeared in 544 games. He scored 116 goals and recorded 131 assists.
“Andrew played an integral role on two Stanley Cup Championship teams with the Blackhawks and grew into a leader in the latter part of his career. He kept the locker room on their toes but had the ability to keep his teammates relaxed and ready with his lively personality,” general manager Stan Bowman said Monday in a team-issued statement.
“Though it is unfortunate Andrew’s playing career is over, I admire him for making this difficult decision and putting his family and his well-being first. Andrew will always have a home here in Chicago and we wish him and his family nothing but the best in the next chapter of their lives.”
Shaw was hit in the face by Dallas Stars defenseman Joel Hanley in the February incident that led to Shaw’s concussion and subsequent move to injured reserve.
“There comes a time when every athlete needs to realize when their health is a priority and a future with their family is what is most important. That point for me is now,” Shaw said. “After several concussions, doctors have strongly recommended I stop playing the game that I love. For once in my life, I am going to listen.”
Shaw largely missed the 2019-20 season due to a concussion in November 2019. He was sidelined for the last 44 games of the regular season and did not play in any of the Blackhawks’ nine playoff games.
He considered retiring in January due to concussion concerns and said he was taking his time with the decision before ultimately returning to the ice.
“I was lucky enough to play in two of the best hockey cities and fanbases in the world in Chicago and Montreal and I am grateful for my experiences with all of you. I gave everything I had every night for you, and you are the reason this was one of the toughest decisions in my life.
“Thank you all for giving a mutt a home, and a chance to live out my dream.”
–Field Level Media