CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Anyone who follows hockey knows Andrew Shaw’s physicality on the ice is unmatched, but because of that bruiser style of play, he’s suffered numerous head injuries throughout his career. None worst than the one he suffered last season that caused him to opt out of the bubble, and almost forced him to hang ’em up for good.
“It was tough being away from the game and the guys in the room,” said Shaw, “But to be able to spend that time with my family I think helped me push through this, helped me get better.”
After months away from the sport Shaw rejoined his teammates when the Hawks began their training camp last week.
“I was a little nervous, but once I got out there, things went smooth. (I) felt great, confident. Felt pretty good getting out there with the guys.”
This is a sport Shaw has thrived at his whole life, but his health concerns made things difficult.
“Obviously feeling down and sore and in pain and having headaches, it’s tough to love the game at that point.”
During last year’s time away, he got to see what his life would be like without Hockey.
“I’ll survive. Andrew Shaw is not hockey. I have a life outside of hockey. I have a family. I have friends, but I missed it.”
With both his mental and physical well-being improved, Shaw sought council from those friends, family, and medical professionals. With their full support in whatever he decided, Shaw knew he had more left in the tank.
“I’m going to play as long as I can just knowing mentally that Andrew Shaw’s going to be okay with life without hockey. It was nice to feel that. I think it drove me to be a little bit hungry to play hockey as long as I can as well, knowing that life after hockey is going to be pretty amazing.”