The Professional Hockey Wrirters Association has named Andrew Shaw as the Blackhawks' nominee for the 2021 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.
Shaw spent nearly 14 months recovering from a concussion he suffered in Nov. 2019 to return to the team at the start of this season, playing in 14 games with before suffering another concussion in February.
"It was tough being away from the game and the guys in the room, but to be able to spend that time with my family I think helped me push through this, helped me get better," Shaw said in January of his return. "It let me see life without hockey and knowing that if anything happened to me injury-wise, I'm ok without hockey. I'll survive. Andrew Shaw is not hockey. I have a life outside of hockey. I have a family. I have friends."
Video: A message from Andrew Shaw
The forward announced last month that he was stepping away from the game of hockey after his latest head injury.
"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 his farewell on April 26. "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."
Nominees for all 31 teams were announced on Monday and can be viewed here. Ballots will soon be distributed to all PHWA members to determine the winner, which will be unveiled at the 2021 NHL Awards. Last season, each of the 31 nominees received at least one vote.