SUNRISE, Fla. - The Blackhawks announced Saturday forwards Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol) and Zack Smith (back) will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
Shaw recorded 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 26 games this season and hasn't played since Nov. 30. A source told NBC Sports Chicago that Shaw has been feeling much better as of late, but with only 18 games left and the Blackhawks well outside the playoff picture, it's not surprising the organization made the official call to shut him down given his concussion history.
"He adds an element to our team, both on and off the ice that we wanted to add," head coach Jeremy Colliton said of Shaw's presence. "A lot of personality in the dressing room, holds guys accountable, pushes them, makes them uncomfortable, drags them into the fight, helps to prepare them to play. And on the ice, obviously, he plays all situations. He can get your team going on a Tuesday night in November. He can get the group engaged, and obviously we miss that."
Smith has been out of the lineup since Feb. 12, but his original injury was to his left hand after he had it cut by a skate blade in Vancouver. He returned to practice one week later but has missed the last two games with a back injury. It's something Smith has been battling for a while now, which explains some of his maintenance days throughout the season.
Smith, who had a lower-back injury during training camp, is scheduled to have surgery on March 6 and the Blackhawks are hoping it's just routine. He had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 50 games this season and became a fixture on the fourth line.
In December, the Blackhawks placed Calvin de Haan (shoulder) and Brent Seabrook (hip/shoulder) on long-term injured reserve after undergoing season-ending surgeries. With Shaw and Smith being shut down, the Blackhawks have a combined $18.5 million in cap hits on the sidelines. That's 22.8 percent of the $81.5 million limit.
But the Blackhawks won't use that as an excuse or wonder what could have been if all four players stayed healthy during the season.
"Serves no purpose to do that," Colliton said. "All teams go through injuries and you're missing guys at certain times, and you've just got to find a way no matter what."
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Blackhawks shut down Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith for rest of 2019-20 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago