Blackhawks: What’s The Right Price For A Goalie?
By Ryan Fedrau
Either the Chicago Blackhawks will re-sign Corey Crawford or they will bring in someone new. Whether it’s signing or a trade – what is the right price for a goalie?
Corey Crawford wants more from the Chicago Blackhawks than one-year $3,500,000. If they decide not to add more to that deal, it’s likely the Blackhawks will be signing a goalie in free agency or trading draft capital for one.
Depending on the quality of the goalie, I would expect the team to stay around the $3,500,000 AAV range. If they were willing to pay Crawford that amount of money, another goalie that is equal or better than him should expect the same amount if he were to sign in Chicago.
A player that is younger and is better than Crawford might have a bigger asking price. If that player is worth the asking price, Chicago might be willing to move some players around to make room for him.
The most Chicago should pay for a goalie is $5,000,000 AAV. Having a good goalie gives them a chance to win now. They have the team with a mixture of veterans who have won Stanley Cups and younger players who have the potential to get to that level.
How does Chicago make room for a goalie worth that much? They’d have to trade either Olli Maatta or Brandon Saad to start off with, along with making sure to have enough room to re-sign some key free agents.
There are tiers I see fit for the goalie range.
A goalie, like Crawford, who is aging and had a losing record during his last two seasons should be worth around $2,500,000 AAV – $3,000,000 AAV.
A goalie who has a winning record over the last two seasons but no playoff success should be worth around $3,500,000 AAV – $4,000,000 AAV.
A goalie that has a winning record and playoff success – but isn’t elite should be worth that max $5,000,000 AAV.
After that, you get into the elite, franchise goalies – who are worth a lot more than $5,000,000 AAV.
The Hawks should try to stay in that $4,000,000 AAV range, but sign a younger goalie who can improve this team. Crawford isn’t the answer for $4,000,000 AAV. The waiting game to see if he will sign or not isn’t good enough. They should have a backup plan ready to trigger at any moment.
We’ll have more on who will be in net as the offseason goes on. If the Hawks don’t get one early into free agency with serious talent, they’re not serious about winning next year.