ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Blackhawks are moving on from goaltender Corey Crawford. Team general manager Stan Bowman told reporters in a Zoom Conference Thursday that the Blackhawks won’t be offering Crawford a contract for next season.
“I had a conversation with Corey earlier today and it was a bit of an emotional talk. Corey and I go back a long time.”
ESPN reported that the Blackhawks wanted Crawford to take a pay cut from the $5 million he made last season. That’s when talks broke down. Bowman says the Blackhawks simply are ready to go younger at the goaltender position. Crawford is 35 years old.
“The message to Corey and to everyone else today is that we’ve decided that we’ve got some young goaltenders here in Chicago that we believe in,” said Bowman.
Those young goaltenders include 26-year old Collin Delia and 25-year old Kevin Lankinen. Last season with the Rockford IceHogs Delia posted a 16-13-1 record with a 2.66 GAA and a save percentage of .912. Lankinen posted an 8-10-2 record in Rockford with a 3.03 GAA and a save percentage of .909.
Crawford recently completed a season in which he made 40 appearances with the Blackhawks while posting a record of 16-20-0-3 with a 2.77 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
Crawford is the only goaltender in Blackhawks’ history to win two Stanley Cups (2013, 2015). He is the franchise’s all-time leader in postseason wins. He ranks third in regular season wins. He is also the IceHogs’ all-time leader in wins.
Crawford is now a free agent. The NHL free agent period starts Friday.