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Chicago Blackhawks: Importance of Re-Signing Andrew Shaw

By Sean Fitzgerald
Apr 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) with the puck during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Chicago won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) with the puck during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Chicago won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks Andrew Shaw Is A Restricted Free Agent, So How Important Is It For Stan Bowman To Re-Sign Him?

The Chicago Blackhawks are facing yet another salary cap crunch this off-season. The Blackhawks will have to let go of some of their Unrestricted Free Agents and Restricted Free Agents. That list of restricted Free Agents and Unrestricted Free Agents includes Andrew Shaw. Shaw is a Restricted Free Agent and is coming off a career high in assists at 20. Shaw played a physical game on all four lines and on the power-play. In the playoffs, Shaw scored a team high four goals despite being suspended for one game.

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Coach Joel Quenneville has been on record saying that Shaw is an irreplaceable piece of the Blackhawks and cannot be lost.

That is why the Blackhawks must re-sign the pesky Andrew Shaw. Shaw is an important piece to the Blackhawks getting back to the Stanley Cup Championship. He is important to the Blackhawks for several reason. One, Shaw bought into the Blackhawks style of puck possession play, he was fifth among forwards with a CF% of 51.4, and he was sixth among forwards in FF% (Fenwick For Percentage) at 50.8.

Aside from Shaw, many players on the Blackhawks do not deliver a big hit when possible.Shaw provides the Blackhawks with much needed energy, but more importantly he has a physical style that few Chicago Blackhawks possess. He led the team with 148 hits, the next closest player was Brent Seabrook with 121 with the next closest forward in hits was Andrew Desjardins with 102. On a team that does hit very much, they should not want to lose their hits leader, especially since their supposed power forward spent most the year at Rockford.

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He is also one of the few players that goes to the “dirty areas” during the power-play. The Blackhawks scored 57 power-plays goals, and without Shaw how many power-play goals would the Blackhawks have scored?

One aspect of his game that is overlooked is his ability to get into players heads. Shaw has this knack to get the other team to commit the dumb penalty or overreact in such a way that shifts momentum toward the Blackhawks.

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Now that we have determined that Shaw is very important and need to re-signed, how will the Blackhawks actually re-sign him? My speculation would be that they negotiate a Marcus Kruger type deal. In case everyone forgot, Kruger was a restricted free agent last off-season. The Blackhawks gave him a deal over 1.05 million last off-season. The Blackhawks then signed Kruger to a 3.083 million dollar deal for three years. That would be the route that I would choose to go with #65.

Next: The Bickell-Brouwer Comparison

What do you think? How important is it for the Chicago Blackhawks to re-sign Andrew Shaw?

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