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Blackhawks Magazine excerpt: Hustle and Flow

by Bob Verdi / Chicago Blackhawks

The following is excerpted from the November 2015 issue of Blackhawks Magazine, featuring Andrew Shaw. Pick up the newest issue of the magazine at the next Blackhawks home game, or by calling the Blackhawks Store at 312-759-0079.


For a job description, what position would you list as an occupation? Left wing? Right wing? Center?

(Laughs) Forward. Look at the first three games this year. I played all three places on all different lines. It’s a good thing to have in your game, versatility. Wherever they want to put me, that’s fine. I just want to play. Jumping around doesn’t bother me at all. If they need me to play defense, I’ll do that.

If there was an emergency, you would be the logical guy to play goalie, no?

Why, because I’m crazy?

No, because you’re fearless.

Oh, yeah. I’d do it if I had to.

If you were to describe your style, would you agree with those who call you an irritant?

That’s one part of my game. There’s more than that, I feel. There’s the guy who’s in first on forechecks, the guy who goes to the net, takes a beating. It’s not all about getting under the other team’s skin. Again, we have so many stars. I try to provide grit. Guys appreciate it. Team’s been great to me. Organization has been great to me. I owe the Blackhawks a lot. They’re the ones who took a chance on me.

You also keep things loose by getting under the skin of teammates.

A few of them are gone. Patrick Sharp, I always got into his kitchen about spending so much time in front of the mirror, trying to look perfect. Nick Leddy, I called him a nerd. So shy and quiet. Brandon Saad, I told him he acted like an old man at 20. We’re all still buddies, of course, and when you have new teammates, you have new guys to work on. Kyle Baun. There’s one. Space cadet.

What about your esteemed captain, Jonathan Toews?

Oh, I always give him the business. Last year, I think in Nashville, he was out to dinner. I went down to the front desk at the hotel. I told them I was Jonathan Toews and I’d locked myself out of my room. Got a key. Ripped open the mini-bar and spread peanuts all over his bed. Cranked the heat as hot as it could go. Maybe 90 degrees. Then I took apart the back of his toilet and moved the hose that fills the back with water so it would point toward him. The minute he flushes the toilet, the hose sprays him all over.

And…

I go back to my room. He gets back to the hotel, sees the mess, calls the front desk and says his phone is not working. He uses his cellphone and says he’s Andrew Shaw. He orders room service. An hour later, there’s a knock on my door. “Your dinner is here, Mr. Shaw.” I wasn’t hungry. I’d already eaten. Guy hands me the bill to sign. For $300. I texted Tazer. “Thanks for the dinner.”

How did Toews figure out it was you?

Automatic. He just knows me. Then the next morning, Tazer beats me to the rink. I’m always one of the first guys there, but he’s there really early. I know I got into his head. I saw right away that my equipment had been messed with. Then I grab my sticks. They’re all hollow; he took the butt ends out and filled them with water. They were all very heavy.

So that’s it? All over between you and him?

Until I get him again. Memory bank.

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