The Scary Truth About The Blackhawks Goalie Situation
By Jimmy Lynch
The Chicago Blackhawks goalie situation is not set in stone for next season. We do not have a starter in the crease, yet the team’s struggles in net go a lot deeper than just one goalie.
Corey Crawford has been the Blackhawks goalie ever since he came into the NHL as a starter in 2011. While it took him a little bit of time to start the 2010-11 season to take the net from Marty Turco, he eventually did just that and proved he was the right guy for the Blackhawks.
Crawford was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NHL draft. That was a long time ago. While the team has found ways to add some great free-agent goalies, they have not drafted and developed a star goalie since Crawford.
Antti Raanta signed with the Blackhawks at the age of 24, but two years later, the team traded him away. Scott Darling signed in 2014, and yet the team also dealt him a few years later. It is okay that the ‘Blackhawks traded away those two goalies as both were going to get more significant contracts and expected to be starters someday, but Chicago has never done an excellent job planning for their future in the net.
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Goalies are hard to draft. They are often a hit or miss position just because of how few goalies are in the NHL each year. There truly is a limited number of goalies in the NHL, and I think the Blackhawks were exploiting the limited number in years past.
Chicago added Cam Ward on a cheap deal, knowing he would be Corey Crawford’s backup. They also had Anton Forsberg for a little while as an option as well. The scary truth when it comes to the Blackhawks goalie situation is that Corey Crawford is not going to be the guy forever, and this is a two goalie league.
Next season is going to be shortened again, and it is going to feature a lot of games on back to back nights. For the Blackhawks, that means they will need to have two guys that can win them a game on any given night. I am confident in Corey Crawford for next season, assuming Chicago can get him under contract, but the ‘Hawks need a backup as well.
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Expect the Blackhawks to address their goalie situation at the draft. Maybe it is time the Blackhawks look to add a goalie with one of their first few picks, or maybe Chicago will look to trade to add a different goalie.