According to Scott Powers of The Athletic, the Chicago Blackhawks have offered goalie Corey Crawford a one-year contract in the ballpark of $3.5 million. The longtime Hawks netminder is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Crawford, who has spent his entire 13-year NHL career with the Blackhawks, indicated earlier this offseason that he is ‘leaning toward’ remaining in Chicago.
It’s important to note that Crawford’s statement came two weeks before the news of this reported offer. It’s hard to imagine the 35-year-old netminder would accept the proposed deal, as he also left the door open to the possibility that he could look for a longer-term contract.
On the other hand, Crawford was very clear that his top priority is being the number one goalie wherever he may play. He would certainly have that role in Chicago, as playoff backup Malcolm Subban will become a restricted free agent and Rockford netminders Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen are the only other current in-house options that are somewhat close to being NHL-ready.
This is most likely the beginning of negotiations between the Blackhawks and Crawford, so it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the coming weeks. With the NHL salary cap remaining flat, this offseason will be a balancing act for general manager Stan Bowman.