Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, 29, announces retirement from NHL due to concussions

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is retiring from the NHL and, in an announcement on Monday, cited health concerns as the reason he is leaving the sport. Shaw, who is 29, said he is no longer in the right health to hit the ice and compete.

“There comes a time when every athlete needs to realize when their health is a priority and a future with their family is what is most important. That point for me is now,” he said in a statement on “After several concussions, doctors have strongly recommended I stop playing the game that I love. For once in my life, I am going to listen.”

Shaw suffered a concussion on Feb. 9 against the Dallas Stars and Blackhawks physician Dr. Michael Terry said afterwards that the forward should end his career.

“Though he has recovered, given the potential long-term consequences of repetitive concussions, we have advised him to discontinue his career as a professional hockey player,” Terry said. “The Blackhawks are very supportive of his decision to prioritize his long-term health.”

Shaw was drafted in 2011 with the 139th overall pick by the Blackhawks and played for the Montreal Canadiens as well before eventually returning to Chicago towards the end of his career. Shaw won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015.

In his retirement announcement, Shaw went through some of his favorite memories with the team.

“My first game as a rookie with the Chicago Blackhawks still sticks out in my mind. In my second shift, I had my first fight in the National Hockey League. I followed that up with my first NHL goal in the second period,” he said. “From that point on, I knew I had a chance to be this team’s underdog. A player that could represent the city of Chicago’s blue-collar mentality. Be their mutt if you will. “

The former fifth rounder went on to thank the Blackhawks, teammates from Chicago and Montreal, as well as his family and fans.

“Most of all, I will miss the fans. I was lucky enough to play in two of the best hockey cities and fanbases in the world in Chicago and Montreal and I am grateful for my experiences with all of you,” he said. “I gave everything I had every night for you, and you are the reason this was one of the toughest decisions in my life.”

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