Blackhawks’ Future: Where To Go? What To Do?
As mentioned before, the Blackhawks currently have a good 1-2 punch going for them at NHL level. But for a team trying to continue the level of success that Chicago has had over the better part of the last decade, the future needs to look bright in net.
With the Blackhawks signing Johansson from the SHL, where he was named the 2015-16 Goalie of the Year, there is a breath of new life in the position. Does that mean the backup position is up for grabs next year? Does it mean the short-term fix for the end of Crawford’s time in Chicago is Johansson? We don’t know yet.
What we do know is the current outlook for the future of the position rests with Crawford, Darling now Johannson, and three other players who all have expiring contracts in Leighton, Mac Carruth and Drew MacIntyre. While Carruth is more likely to have a contract renewed this offseason, being a product of the Blackhawks’ system, MacIntyre more than likely will be let go after being acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes this last season.
If the Blackhawks want to make the future of the goaltending position shine brighter, they may want to take a long look at the possibility of drafting a goaltender in this June’s NHL Entry Draft. Players like Evan Fitzpatrick and Dylan Wells could be available when the Blackhawks make their first selection in the third round.
Whatever the case may be, general manager Stan Bowman has some hard decisions to make over the next few months to figure out what a blueprint might be to plan for the eventual exit of Crawford from the Blackhawks.