The Chicago Blackhawks have been searching for a top 6 forward for their roster for some time without success. Options to this point were too expensive for GM Stan Bowman. So rather than break the bank, he decided to go get somebody he knows the team can trust. A familiar face that has already helped the organization reach the mountaintop twice before.

Chicago dealt three draft picks to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Andrew Shaw. The gritty and tough center was a huge part of their success in 2013 and 2015 before being squeezing off the team in 2016 due to salary cap issues. He’s spent the past three seasons continuing to play some really good hockey. Last season despite only playing 63 games, he had 19 goals and 28 assists for a career-high 47 points.

He also had 181 face-off wins and 36 blocked shots. This is the sort of overlooked dirty work the Blackhawks have been missing at times. Above all, this is a cost-effective move that upgrades the roster while allowing Stan Bowman to focus on his primary objective. That being to re-sign Dylan Strome and Alex Debrincat.

Chicago Blackhawks are getting a guy they love back in his prime

It’s easy to forget that Shaw is still only 27-years old. He has some good seasons still to play even with his notoriously physical style. The Blackhawks have been wanting to bolster their toughness and their defense. The man certainly knows a thing or two about that. He is under contract through the 2021-2022 season. So they’ve found stability and comfort at a position of need.

It isn’t yet certain which draft picks they gave up in the deal but given the team just got done adding a series of high choices this year, they feel the reward is worth the risk. This team has spent considerable time reloading their farm system with young talent and there is a legitimate belief that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane still have at least one more Stanley Cup run in them if the surrounding roster can be reloaded fast enough.

This is another step in that direction.