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Ladd, Shaw want to stay with Blackhawks

Forwards hopeful of reaching agreement to keep calling Chicago home

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Forwards Andrew Ladd and Andrew Shaw would like to remain with the Chicago Blackhawks if possible.

The problem is one or both of the forwards might not get their wish, with the Blackhawks likely facing another belt-tightening this offseason in regard to the NHL salary cap.

Ladd, 30, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. Shaw, 24, will be a restricted free agent. Either could be on the move if Chicago can't fit them into the budget, but each made it known Wednesday they would be flexible in any contract negotiations.

"I think I'm at the point in my career where I can make decisions based on being in a good situation, and at the end of the day I don't think it's all about money for me," said Ladd, who the Blackhawks reacquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 25. "It's about being in a good place for my family and being on a team that's going to contend every year. You'd be crazy not to want to be a part of this group, this organization, and we'll see what happens."

Video: Exit interview: Ladd

Ladd, who had eight goals and 12 points after the trade, filled a void left by the offseason trade of forward Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blackhawks traded forward prospect Marko Dano, who they got from the Blue Jackets for Saad, and their first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft to Winnipeg for Ladd.

"I was just living in the moment and seeing it as a chance to go on a good run with a great team and come back to a great organization," Ladd said. "I didn't look any further than that. It's something you can see what happens at the end of the year. You're always hopeful things can work out, but there's a lot of things that go into play when making those decisions for the organization."

Shaw was drafted by the Blackhawks in the fifth round (No. 139) of the 2011 NHL Draft, He has played parts of five seasons with them and has developed into an integral piece of the forward rotation. He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015.

After leading Chicago with four goals in its seven-game loss to the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference First Round, Shaw said he'd like to contribute to longer runs in the future.

"I want to be back here and I think they want me back," said Shaw, who had 14 goals and 34 points in 78 regular-season games. "I've been in Chicago for five years now and I've made this place my home. We've got a lot of friends. I love the city, love the fan support here. I've been treated very well and I'm fortunate to win a couple Cups here. I want to be a part of that and help win more, as well."

Shaw and the Blackhawks are content to wait for the release of the salary-cap ceiling for 2016-17, which might be a factor in determining what happens next.

Video: Exit interview: Shaw

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said he likes Shaw's intangibles and is content to wait for the new cap number. Coach Joel Quenneville was more effusive, calling the gritty, undersized Shaw "irreplaceable."

"I feel they both want me back, they both respect me as a player [and] they like what I bring," Shaw said. "It's the business of hockey. … Like I said, I want to be back here and I have a feeling they want me to be back. Hopefully both parties can make it work."

Saad had similar sentiments last season after helping Chicago win its third championship in six seasons. He also was set to be a restricted free agent but ultimately was traded.

"I think every situation is different," Ladd said. "Every guy is at a different point in his career in terms of what he wants to accomplish, whether he has a family or he's getting on later in his career and he wants to be part of a contender. There's a lot of things that go into that. I think you evaluate that individually and try to make the best decisions possible for yourself and for your family. At the end of the day you try to do whatever is possible to be a part of a group like this and an organization like this."

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