Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw apologizes for slur: 'No excuses'

Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw apologizes for slur: 'No excuses'

Andrew Shaw was apologetic for the homophobic slur he used late in the Blackhawks’ game on Tuesday night, understanding that what he said was wrong.

He will, however, face consequences.

Shaw was suspended one game for using a slur in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. He was also suspended $5,000 for directing an inappropriate gesture at an on-ice official. Shaw did both after being called for roughing with about two minutes remaining in regulation.

He is also required to undergo sensitivity training.

Colin Campbell, the league’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement that, “while Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions. The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”

A visibly upset Shaw addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon before the Blackhawks departed for St. Louis, where they’ll play Game 5 on Thursday night without him in the lineup. Speaking a few minutes after the game, Shaw said he didn’t remember what he said. This afternoon Shaw said he watched video of his slur late last night and “had a tough time sleeping.”

“I have no excuses for anything,” Shaw said. “I want to apologize to the gay and lesbian community. That’s not the type of guy I am. This is hard for me. I saw the video last night and I had a tough time sleeping. What’s gotten to me is that I let my emotions get the better of me. I want to apologize to the organization, the NHL, my teammates, my family and my friends. Obviously I’m sorry it’s a tough time for me right now.”

The Blackhawks issued statements, from the organization and from Shaw, before the team’s availability on Wednesday afternoon. The Blackhawks, in that statement, said, “we are extremely disappointed in Andrew Shaw'sactions last night. His comments do not reflect what we stand for as an organization. We are proud to have an inclusive and respectful environment, and to support various initiatives such as the You Can Play Project and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association. We will use this opportunity to further educate ourplayers and organization moving forward, so that we all may learn from it.”

Jonathan Toews called the incident “a teachable moment.”

“I think we can all be a little more conscious of the impact that word might have and know that it can be used loosely. I think we’re all thinking about that much more than if we haven’t before. And we stand behind Shawzy and who he is as a person, behind his apology as well,” Toews said. “I think we all know what type of person he is. He’s a great guy that everyone loves in the locker room. Obviously he knows he made a mistake in the heat of the momentlast night.”

Coach Joel Quenneville agreed with Toews’ sentiment and offered his apologies as well.

“What Andrew did was unacceptable and a very good experience to learn from,” said Quenneville, who was asked what could be done to eliminate that word. “I think the education, what we’re talking about right now, is the best way to eradicate what we’re talking about.”

Shaw let his emotions get the best of him, and it will cost him what could be the Blackhawks’ final game of the postseason. He said he’s learned from his mistake, from his terrible choice of word and says, “I’ll never use that word again, that’s for sure.”

“I do, I get it. It’s a hurtful word and it’s 2016 now,” Shaw said. “It’s time that everyone’s treated equally.”

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

saad_crawford_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”