chicagoblackhawks.com caught up with 2011-12 rookie sensation Andrew Shaw to find out how his summer has been and how he's approaching the upcoming campaign.
What did you do this summer?
I bought a cottage up near Belleville, Ontario, so it's like staying at home but also pretty much a vacation.
What’s the best thing you’ve done all summer?
I went to a Kenny Chesney and Luke Bryan concert. Front row, it was unbelievable.
Did you keep in touch with or hang out with any teammates?
I text them pretty much every week. I try to talk to them whenever I can, but everyone’s pretty busy.
Looking back on this past season, there were still a lot of young guys in the regular lineup, yourself included. So there's still a lot of room for growth...
I think we learned a lot from the playoff experience we just had. It’s going to make us stronger in the long run. We have a great team; I think we have the best top six and defensive core in the entire league. We’re strong on the back end, and going into this year, if we stay positive and stay together as a team we’ll do just fine.
Two lower-seeded teams made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final this June and an eight-seed won it. It definitely seems like once you get into the playoffs, anybody can take it all.
You know, it’s tough. Seabrook texted me and Nick Leddy when the final game was on in the playoffs, and he asked me, “How are you feeling? This should be us. This will be us. Let this motivate you into driving for the Stanley Cup."
Have you hit the ice yet? Are you trying to work on any particular skills or parts of your game?
I’ve been on the ice about a dozen times now, and I’m just trying to build some strength.
How does last season change your approach this summer and heading into training camp?
I’ve matured a bit and I’m keeping focused. I’ve had a taste, and now I want the whole thing. I’m pushing myself in training and skating. I want to get better in every aspect of the game.
What’s your personal goal for next season?
Obviously, I want to do better than I did last year. Play a full season and make a good run through the playoffs.