Let’s make it clear right away that I personally do not want Andrew Shaw to be traded away from our beloved Chicago Blackhawks. Shaw has been an integral part of the ‘Hawks’ success for the past four years, and his departure would be a tremendous blow to the team and Chicago denizens alike.
However, we ‘Hawks fans all know by now that sentimentality and fan-favorites aside, hockey is a business. That being said, given the Blackhawks’ current needs at the blue line and left wing as the 2016 trade deadline approaches, from a business standpoint now is the time when a Shaw-involved transaction can bring the highest returns. As painful as it is to fathom, here are six reasons why now is the time Shaw may need to be sacrificed for the greater good of the Chicago Blackhawks.
#6 – Lower on the Totem Pole of Offseason Priorities
While there is no arguing that Shaw has made an impact for the Blackhawks during his tenure in Chicago, the problem is Shaw’s particular brand of gritty intensity doesn’t necessarily translate to the type of ink on the stat sheet that helps GM’s justify throwing more zeros on a player’s paycheck.
Complicating this matter is the emergence of rookie sensation Artemi Panarin this season, who has produced so much statistical justification for a raise that even traditionally tight-lipped GM Stan Bowman has made it clear he intends to lock up the Bread Man to a long term deal before his current contract expires. That’s not good news for niche players like Shaw, because while he does play an important role on the ‘Hawks, consistently putting goals in the back of the net is still what wins games, and unfortunately that’s not exactly the role Shaw has filled.
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