Where to begin when speaking of Andrew Shaw?
Locally in Belleville, provincially in the OBHA and Internationally with the Junior Team Canada program, he was a winner and that carried on to the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Attack winning the league championship and then drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks and winning two Stanley Cups.
Andrew will go down as one of ball hockey most decorated minor players with the Belleville Minor Ball Hockey League with two specific age groups, the 1990/91 which won at every level starting in Tyke all through Junior, but he was also part of another dominant group from his hometown with the 1991/92 group which had his younger brother, Jason that would join that group and they simply never lost any tournament.
Although the Shaw name was synonymous with winning, it was in 2005 at the inaugural North American Youth Ball Hockey Championships that we first met up with him and his parents, Doug and Darlene. Just imagine the OBHA best Peewee aged teams against the USA best, what could go wrong? Well, on a beautiful afternoon at the Robert Morris University sports facility and in between games some of the players were enjoying some downtime at the nearby batting cages when we were called from the tournament and asked to get to the batting cages as there was an issue. To our surprise, we came across FIVE cruisers with Deputies so immediately we thought, what happened here? At the conclusion of the discussion, a young American player learned a valuable lesson about ice cream and that that Andrew Shaw doesn’t back down from anyone and after a couple of apologies, the tournament moved on and you guessed it, the Belleville team won the championship.
Move along now to the 2009 Junior Championships and the Belleville team down 4-0 in the first period against Penetang and what a second period! The Belleville group behind, Shaw, Denver Greer, Evan Culbert, Pat Millington, Patrick Geen, what a group! They would storm back and tie the game at 4-4 with less that a minute to play. To this day, I can still see Dustin Walsh racing down the wing and chipping it passed a sprawling Tyler McClure and then cutting across the front of the net and beating goaltender Brian Valentine to the back post, it was like yesterday that one of the greatest comebacks was complete and again Belleville won.
We move to 2010 and the World Championships and the best collection of players ever to be put together for the U20 competition and oh the chatter that would continue between the Belleville/Penetang players who were reunited for Team Canada about that final a few months later. At the pre-tournament camp it was Shaw that the others gravitated to, he was a leader, he was a winner and the others knew it. Throughout the camp and at the Worlds, he was the ‘guy’ on and off the floor, for post lunch showers and roof top gatherings they would convene in his room and travel through the window to the rooftop for some planning for playful chicanery throughout the championships.
Shaw along with his linemates, Matt Paul and Andrew Howes would dominate that tournament finishing as the top three scorers en route to first ever undefeated record and gold championship. That 2010 team was special on and off the floor and the leader was Andrew Shaw.
During those Championships, the NHL hosted its draft and on the Saturday evening we learned that Andrew was selected in the 5th round by the Chicago Black Hawks and remember telling those who would listen, that kid is going to make the show! Well, fast forward a few years and he was lining up along the Fab Four, Seabrook, Keith, Toews and Kane and was part of two Stanley Cup winning teams in 2012-13 and 2014-15.
Unfortunately, we learned recently that he has had to retire from pro hockey due to concussions, but we know that no matter what life has planned for Andrew he will continue living and winning in life along with wife and kids. A friend, brother, father, player, champ and winner, Andrew Shaw!