The Corey Crawford era in Chicago is officially over.
With the goaltender set to be a free agent this offseason, there was some speculation that the Blackhawks could move on from the Stanley Cup-winning Crawford and on Thursday, Stan Bowman confirmed those thoughts.
Bowman officially revealed that the team would not re-sign Crawford, citing that the two had an emotional talk earlier on Thursday as the decision was made:
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
The Blackhawks are going a different route, trying to rebuild with youth on their roster as they still have plenty of talented players. Bowman cited that the team has a pair of young goalies that they like in Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia but it will be hard to replace a player of Crawford’s caliber.
The 35-year-old Crawford spent 14 seasons with the Blackhawks organization after they selected him in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft. He finishes his Blackhawks career 260-162-53 with a 2.45 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and 26 shutouts. He was a key member of two Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup teams and might just be one of the more underrated players in franchise history.
NHL Free Agency is set to open up Friday morning and we imagine it won’t be long before Crawford finds a new home.