Chicago Blackhawks: Who Starts For Chicago In Net In 2021?

Jacob Markstrom #25, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
Jacob Markstrom #25, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks might have to look past Corey Crawford to find their next goalie. Who will that goalie be?

The Chicago Blackhawks have already offered Corey Crawford a reported one-year deal worth $3,500,000 AAV. If Crawford doesn’t accept the deal, which the rumors have him wanting a longer deal, along with more money, the team has to look elsewhere. Where do they look?

The rumors of Darcy Kuemper being Chicago’s goalie next season have started. Kuemper currently has two years left on his contract, which is worth $4,500,000 per season. If they’re going to spend that money on a goalie, they should look elsewhere again.

Instead of trading for Kuemper, Chicago should take the smart route and go after Jacob Markstrom. The Markstrom to Chicago rumors picked up at one point then died down. They could be as real as ever though if Vancouver lets Markstrom hit the open market.

Vancouver already benched Markstrom in the playoffs, in favor of Thatcher Demko. The next move is to let Markstrom walk, as he’ll get paid more elsewhere to start than backup Demko.

Chicago has to pursue the 30-year-old netminder. Markstrom went 23-16-4 this season, saving 91.8% of shots his way, along with a 2.75 GAA. He played 50/50 this year with Demko, but he could take on a full-time starting role in Chicago if he is willing to bet on himself and test the open market.

Markstrom for the Blackhawks eliminates the Corey Crawford problem. They no longer have to worry about him re-signing, along with overpaying for him. Markstrom is younger, has found more success recently, and could be the bridge goalie for the next 2-3 seasons, as Chicago finds their next franchise goalie.

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Markstrom is a better fit in Chicago than Darcy Kuemper. Both have rumored to end up in Chicago, only one of them really makes sense. It’s the cheaper, more reliable Jacob Markstrom.