The Chicago Blackhawks have mostly had Corey Crawford in net for the better part of a decade. He was brilliant all that time but now it is over.
The Chicago Blackhawks are not bringing back Corey Crawford. Stan Bowman is doing a terrible job as a general manager because he keeps backtracking. He keeps saying that they are trying to win but then makes moves like this and then says they are going in the direction of younger players. If they are going to rebuild then letting Crawford go is smart but if they are trying to win it is a disaster of an idea.
They really aren’t going to find anyone better in free agency at this point. They traded Robin Lehner at the deadline and he is now extended long term with the Vegas Golden Knights. With all of that said, now is a time for praising what Corey Crawford has meant to the Chicago Blackhawks organization. He is one of the best players to ever play for the organization and certainly one of (if not number one) best goalies to ever play for the Hawks.
This is a player that took an unusual route through his development. He was drafted in 2003 but he didn’t become a full-time starter until 2011. It took him a while for him to get his chance and it wasn’t easy at first. He had to pay his dues and wait for a chance and he took it and ran.
Crawford was the backstop for them on the way to two Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015. That all came after some questions on whether or not he can be that guy for them. He proved everyone wrong and got it done. There are 52 playoff wins to go with those two Cups so he absolutely was a very successful playoff goaltender with Chicago.
The regular season was kind to him as well. He was good enough to make it to the all-star game twice in a league with lots of great goaltenders. He posted a 260-162-53 record with a .918 save percentage and 2.45 goals-against average with 26 shutouts. He has six seasons in his career where he had 30+ wins and won the Jennings Trophy twice.
All of these numbers make you wonder if he is going to be in the Hall of Fame. There is a decent chance but he will definitely have his number 50 retired by the Chicago Blackhawks. It has been a great ride for him that probably isn’t over yet.
He should be able to find a starting gig in the NHL as he is now one of the top available goalies. It will be interesting to see which team he signs with but he should know that Blackhawks fans will always appreciate him. Wherever he goes, he deserves success. Chances are, he will have a better chance to win in a new market.