The Chicago Blackhawks have decided not to bring back veteran goaltender Corey Crawford, senior vice president and general manager Stan Bowman announced Thursday.
SVP/GM Stan Bowman announces the #Blackhawks will not re-sign goaltender Corey Crawford:
“I had a conversation with Corey earlier today and it was an emotional talk.”
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 8, 2020
Crawford has spent the past 13 seasons with the Blackhawks, helping the team capture two Stanley Cup titles. The Montreal native has appeared in 488 games in Chicago and compiled a 260-162-53 record with 26 shutouts, a 2.45 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
Bowman said the decision was an emotional one for the team, but the Blackhawks want to provide an opportunity to younger netminders Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia.
“The message to Corey and to everyone else today is that we’ve decided we have some young goaltenders here in Chicago we believe in,” Bowman told reporters. “Much like Corey needed that opportunity when he came up after the 2010 season, we have a couple of young goalies in Lankinen and Delia who we haven’t given a real opportunity to. With where we’re headed, the NHL is relying more and more on young players. We’re going to embrace that going forward.”
Crawford was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft and is coming off a six-year deal with a $6-million cap hit. The 35-year-old has dealt with injuries the past few seasons, but managed to play in 40 games in 2019-20 and put up a 2.77 GAA and a .917 save percentage.