Funny, when I looked up pictures for Andrew Shaw they were mostly for an English cricketer. You find your laughs where you can get them.
At this post, we try and temper down excitement over a recent call up who comes in with a bang. Sample size, scouting reports, luck, roles, we try and cite all of them to show how a player might not be what he looks at first. But even we struggled to do so with Andrew Shaw. And instead of talking about a player who will struggle to contribute the following season, we would be shocked if Shaw isn't in some way a major contributor to the Hawks next season. Sometimes these things go just as you want them to.
Andrew Shaw's Stats: 37G 11G 12A 23P -1 50PIM -.25 Behind The Net Rating, .036 Quality of Comp, 6.71 CORSI
The Good: Plenty of this, wasn't there? The biggest thing that jumped out about Shaw was his absolute fearlessness about anything that took place. I guess when you're a 5th round pick who's been passed over twice in the draft, you've got nothing to lose. But that fearlessness led to Shaw crashing the net even though someone his size should reasonably expect death by doing so aggressively. But that led to his impressive goal total, which would have averaged out to 24 over a full season. His 11 goals probably came from a combined 30 feet. It led to him to forecheck like his balls were on fire, which caused numerous turnovers for his teammates. When he returned from suspension in Game 6 and the Hawks were all over the Coyotes in the 1st period (sigh), Shaw was at the heart of a lot of it. That fearlessness caused him to annoy the ever loving shit out of opponents. He had the Yotes annoyed before the puck had even dropped on the series. He drew an abnormal amount of penalties through sheer effort. He killed penalties. He was shuffled all over the lineup, which spoke to how quickly Q fell in love with him (not necessarily a good thing).
The Bad: A continuing theme here, but whatever bothered us about Shaw was generally about how he was handled instead of the player himself. It wasn't five games before he was chucked into a 2nd line center role and leading the forwards in ice-time, which didn't make any sense. There was a gap in his NHL career, as he was sent back down at the end of February because he lost sight of what he did well and was kind of all over the place. Though he served most of his time on the checking line, his defensive awareness wasn't always top notch. And he picked some fights he probably shouldn't have, as he generally got pummeled. And of course, the suspension. Whatever you think of it, it was a dumb act to take out a goalie, and you're basically asking for it. The Hawks could have used his crease-crashing ways in Games 3 and 4, and he took himself out of them.
Contract: Two more years on his entry level deal at a paltry 565K hit.
Stick Around Or Hit The Bricks: Shaw's in a lot stronger position than Ben Smith was at this point last year, as he has a much larger sample of work at the top level. But Smith took a step back this season and couldn't crack the lineup when the Hawks clearly wanted him to, and Shaw needs to avoid that fate. I would like to see him given nothing more than a 4th line role and work his way up again, partly because that would mean the Hawks have some serious depth on top of that. The Hawks probably have him pegged for Bolland's wing on the 3rd line making Michael Frolik part of a yard sale this summer, and that wouldn't be tragedy. Unless he goes out of his way not to be, Shaw will be part of this team next year. If he can up the smarts a little without losing his face-first, crease-crashing ways then there's no reason he can't chip in at least 15 goals while providing some of the energy and....nutcase-ness that the Hawks lack. It's still a mystery how long a guy of this size playing this way can last without finding ways to avoid being bounced around like a crash test dummy.