Chicago Blackhawks’ goaltender Corey Crawford participated in a media session via Zoom this morning. With his contract expiring, resulting in him becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason, the big question was what Crawford plans to do next season and beyond.
The longtime Hawks’ netminder addressed that inquiry in a pretty straightforward fashion:
While he is leaning toward remaining in Chicago, Crawford also acknowledged that there is reasonable uncertainty due to the salary cap remaining flat and the current contracts the Blackhawks have on the books.
This offseason will be a balancing act for general manager Stan Bowman. In addition to Crawford becoming an unrestricted free agent, Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, Drake Caggiula, Slater Koekkoek, and Malcolm Subban are all set to become restricted free agents. Not all of those players will be retained, so it will be interesting to see how Bowman manages the cap and what kind of money will be available for Corey Crawford’s potential new contract.
Crawford has played his entire career with the Blackhawks. Originally drafted by Chicago 52nd overall in 2003, the now-35-year-old goalie has accumulated a .918 SV%, 2.45 GAA, two Jennings Trophies, and two Stanley Cups over 488 games for the Hawks.
Given the history between the two parties and Crawford’s comments today, a reunion makes sense. But once again, it will depend on what kind of money is available.