Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, but with rumors swirling about a potential salary cap crunch for the team, his future in the city is certainly up in the air.
Shaw, who currently makes $2 million a season, is potentially looking at a raise from that salary for next season, but it’s going to be difficult for the Blackhawks to fit him into the fold as they try to stay below whatever salary cap threshold is established for the coming year.
On Wednesday, Shaw addressed his future as the Blackhawks cleaned out their lockers for the final time, and he expressed a desire to remain with the organization.
“I trust my agent and Stan (Bowman) to do what they can,” he said. “I want to be back here, and I think they want me back…A lot of cap issues, obviously. Just got to be patient and wait for it.”
The Blackhawks currently have $66 million in contracts for next season, meaning that Shaw could become too expensive for the squad if the salary cap doesn’t go up from the $71.4 million figure that it was set at for the 2015-16 campaign.
With the team searching for a first round draft pick and in need of fresh prospects for their system, Shaw’s name has been bandied about as a potential trading chip, but the winger is very fond of the city where he’s spent the first years of his career.
“I’ve been in Chicago for five years now,” he said. “I’ve made this place my home, made a lot of friends, and I love this city. I love the fan support here.”
The Blackhawks could conceivably make an agreement with Shaw similar to the one they made with Marcus Kruger last offseason. The center signed a cheap $1.5 million contract for one year, and was rewarded with a new, more lucrative contract extension this season that will kick in on July 1.