Seemingly everyone around the NHL was confused when Corey Crawford missed five straight days of New Jersey Devils camp this past week due to personal reasons. Crawford had battled several injuries over the past few years, but no one knew exactly what was going with the Devils’ backstop on as NHL training camps trudged on. Today we learned that the longtime Blackhawks’ netminder is hanging up his skates, as Crawford announced his retirement from the National Hockey League.
Crawford signed a two-year contract with the Devils this past offseason after the Blackhawks let him walk in free agency. After missing five straight days of New Jersey’s training camp, Crawford declared he was taking an indefinite leave of absence. 24 hours later, he announced that he is walking away from the game. Crawford did not state his exact reason for retirement but did release a statement thanking both the Devils and Blackhawks.
“I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living. I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire. I would like to thank the New Jersey Devils organization for understanding and supporting my decision. I would like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks organization for giving me the chance to live my childhood dream. I am proud to have been part of winning two Stanley Cups in Chicago. Thank you to all of my teammates and coaches throughout the years. Also, thank you to the fans who make this great game what it is. I am happy and excited to move on to the next chapter of my life with my family.”– Corey Crawford’s statement on retiring, via NHLPA.com
After ten NHL seasons, 488 regular-season games, and two Stanley Cups, Crawford leaves the game as the all-time leader in postseason wins by a Blackhawks goalie. He was also a two-time All-Star and won the William M. Jennings Trophy twice with Chicago.
For everything you did for this city, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything, Corey Crawford.