Blackhawks: Andrew Shaw cleared to return to play for 2021 season

Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

One of the Chicago Blackhawks’ grittiest forwards has been out of commission for over a year. Thankfully, though, the team got some much-needed positivity today.

It appears that Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is ready to return to play, just in time for the beginning of the 2021 season. This is definitely welcomed news in the wake of Kirby Dach being sidelined with a broken wrist and Jonathan Toews battling an undisclosed illness.

Shaw’s condition was discussed by general manager Stan Bowman on the latest episode of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast. Bowman praised the energy and commitment that Shaw brought during his recovery, making it clear that he was roaring to hit the ice again:

"He’s looking great. I think he’s as excited as ever to be back. I’ve never seen him so energized. He’s a guy that’s always got energy, but I was talking to Shaw the other day and he said he’s never felt better. He’s been training since the summer, skating a lot. He looks fantastic out there."

It will be nice to have the feisty forward back on a Blackhawks team that has been plagued with injuries and misfortunes. In addition to Dach and Toews being out, forward Alex Nylander will miss 4-6 months after having knee surgery. This is now at least two key forwards that will be out all of next season, and Toews’ return is uncertain.

Shaw has battled numerous injuries over the course of his NHL career. His latest concussion was sustained in a game against the Avalanche on Nov. 30, 2019. Shaw has said in the past that he has probably had at least three or four concussions. Even one concussion can have lasting health effects, especially for players of an NHL caliber, so it is relieving to see that Shaw appears to be ready to go.

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Shaw adds grit, ferocity, and toughness to a ‘Hawks lineup that is lacking in that department. Add to that the fact that he is a favorite amongst fans and in the locker room, and I would almost guarantee that seeing #65 back on the ice will put a smile on many faces. We’ll find out for sure when the 2021 NHL seasons begins on Jan. 13.