Andrew Shaw has no problem filling 'gritty' role for Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw has no problem filling 'gritty' role for Blackhawks
July 30, 2014, 10:15 am
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Tune in to Comcast SportsNet Thursday evening at 5 p.m. for Inside Look: Andrew Shaw.

Andrew Shaw has always been up for a fight.

It’s been that way since he was young, when he had his share of scraps with his brothers or the neighborhood kids. It continued when he was with the Niagara Ice Dogs and later the Owen Sound in the Ontario Hockey League; no matter the game, no matter the size of the opponent, Shaw took on all.

Not all of Shaw’s fights, however, have been with his fists.

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The 2009 NHL Entry Draft came and went without him being selected, same with the 2010 draft. He was finally selected in 2011 by the Chicago Blackhawks, but not until the fifth round. For the fighter in Shaw, it was just one more challenge, one more opportunity to prove that he belonged in the NHL.

Shaw talked of his fighter mentality, be it on or off the ice, with Pat Boyle for Inside Look, which will air at 5 p.m. on Thursday at CSN Chicago. It was tough watching two drafts go by without hearing his name called, but it was well worth it when the Blackhawks took him, developed him and helped him thrive to the player he is now.

“They saw the work ethic, and I was willing to do whatever it took to win,” Shaw told Boyle about the Blackhawks selecting him. “I always think I surprise people with scoring ability or a little bit of the offense I have in me. I'm the kind of guy that's going to go to the net. There (are) not a lot of guys that do that sort of thing – a guy that is willing to take a beating to get there – so I think they saw that and they like that. We've got a lot of skill here in Chicago, but … I think they knew they needed a little grit.”

That grit didn’t take long to come out. Shaw fought long-time antagonist Daniel Carcillo in the 2011-12 training camp, his first with the Blackhawks. When he made his NHL debut on Jan. 5, 2012 against the Philadelphia Flyers, he got into a fight with Zac Rinaldo just 3:03 into the game – his first NHL goal came in the second period of that game.

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Shaw never backed away from a fight, be it an on-ice skirmish or the challenge to be noticed by the NHL. It all paid off.

“I just kept pushing myself,” Shaw said. “And was lucky enough that Chicago gave me that opportunity.”