I don’t see any way Bowman let’s Corey Crawford walk in the summer of 2020. He is a two-time Stanley Cup c hampion (for now, fingers crossed) and has been essential to the ‘Hawks’ success since he emerged as their No. 1 goaltender. There are plenty of Crawford haters out there who continue to overlook how great of a netminder he is and demand more from a player who has consistently shown up in the top 10 in save percentage and goals-against average.
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The question is what do the ‘Hawks re-sign Crawford for. He currently is on a contract worth $6 million a year, but he will also be 36 when that contract is up in the summer of 2020.
If Crawford is still playing at a top-10 level over the next three years, you will probably see a short-term contract at a little more AAV than he currently earns. Maybe two years, $7 million a year. Hopefully less. But the ‘Hawks will be able to afford it as long as the salary cap continues to increase.
The bigger need will be a backup who is set to become the ‘Hawks’ future top goaltender after Crawford. Maybe Anton Forsberg is the next man in line for the job, but I would think it would need to be a goaltending prospect moving up who is younger and set to become the top guy.
If the Crawford re-signing is a two-year type deal, the heir apparent to him is probably not even part of the franchise yet. Hopefully you see Bowman using a draft pick to grab a goalie in the coming drafts, as he has not in quite some time. The ‘Hawks will want to have a few bullets in the chamber trying to hit on their next guy.