Find A Bridge Goalie
The future of the Chicago Blackhawks goaltending doesn’t have Corey Crawford in net. Crawford is getting older and has been injured a few times now. The likelihood of Crawford winning another Stanley Cup as a starter isn’t very high.
In the offseason, the Blackhawks need to get aggressive and bring in a goalie to compete for the starting job.
The Blackhawks should re-sign Crawford since they won’t find two new goalies on the market, but he can’t be their number one guy. Crawford also cannot be overpaid. He is in a spot where he should split time with another solid goalie.
The goalie I have in mind is Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom is an unrestricted free agent this offseason coming off of an injury. He was paid $3,666,667 in 2019-20 and should get around the same if he hits the open market.
Now, Markstrom played solid when healthy, but he is 30. He isn’t the future goalie, he is a bridge to the future.
The future of the Blackhawks could be Collin Delia or Kevin Lankinen. Both goalies have been hyped up but we have only seen Delia in NHL action for the Blackhawks. He played a little bit in 2018 and in 2019. He went back to the AHL with a 7-5-3 NHL record.
If the Blackhawks believe either one of those players is their future, Markstrom and Crawford for a year or two as their bridge goalies is a good place to start.
Finding the successor to Crawford will be tough, but it can be done. I believed Robin Lehner was going to be his successor, but we all saw how that turned out. Could Lehner make a return in free agency to Chicago?