Breaking news via every Blackhawks beat writer on Twitter: Goaltender Corey Crawford has signed a three-year deal. A conference call is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. central time, when more details should be shared on the situation.
After the debacle with Antti Niemi following last season, it’s nice to get this done early to save for any stress. I’ll be on to update things as they come along, including the dollar amount.
UPDATE: Multiple reports say Crow’s deal is for $8 million, making his cap hit $2.6 million per season. Crawford is now making more money than Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick and Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.
Overall, this is fantastic news for the Blackhawks for a couple of reasons. First, there’s no more wondering who is going to be the starting goaltender, meaning for the first time in four seasons the ‘Hawks will enter training camp without any sort of goaltending questions. Secondly, the dollar amount is slightly more than we may have expected, but it’s not by much.
Between getting Crawford locked up and being able to do it for this price, the Blackhawks did very well on this one.
UPDATE II: Here are some quotes, courtesy of the Associated Press:
“I think for us, it was pretty clear as the year went on and Corey emerged as our go-to guy, that he earned the right to be our No. 1 goalie,” Bowman said. “That’s the way you always want it. You don’t want to anoint people. You want to let them do the work for you, and I think if you watched the way Corey played – he didn’t play a lot in the beginning and once he was given the opportunity, he earned more time in the net. And he ended up being a very important part of our team.”
“I wanted to be a part of the Blackhawks, and I think the management, too, and everyone there wanted me back,” Crawford said. “It’s great to get it done early. Now, I can just focus on workouts and getting prepared for next season.”
“We’ve got a good idea of where the cap will be,” Bowman said. “We’re still going to make some changes like I indicated before – not wholesale changes. But we need to have some new faces in the lineup. We need to give the opportunity for young players to also get into the lineup. There’s a few different ways it can go. I’m confident that when we get going next October that we’ll have a very strong team.”