The Chicago Blackhawks are a better team when Corey Crawford is in the net. It is that simple. While Crawford might not have that many seasons left as an NHL goalie, he still is the best option available for the team.
Corey Crawford has been the backbone of the Chicago Blackhawks for a long time. Many times in the past, Crawford has stolen games for the team thanks to his great play. While Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith will go down in history for the 2010s decade, without Corey Crawford, their success would have been reduced.
While the Blackhawks are optimistic that a deal will be worked out between the two parties, I would like to see it done already. This long waiting game between the two parties does not present a good look and honestly leaves the entire thing up in the air.
I have to admit I am flawed in my thinking when it comes to Corey Crawford. I would like to see the team show some loyalty to the players that have given them the banners we have in the United Center. Seeing players like Niklas Hjalmarsson traded away to Arizona or watching Joel Quenneville get fired did not sit well with me. The same would be true if the Blackhawks pass on Corey Crawford this offseason.
Obviously, hockey is a business. I am not trying to take that aspect away from the game. It made sense that Patrick Sharp would be traded away in 2015 because his contract was just too big, and even the Seabrook contract irks me due to its extensive length and amount. However, Crawford has been the backbone of this team since 2011, and he showed this past year that he can still play.
While re-signing Crawford at 3.5 or 4 million might seem like a lot when considering how little cap space the Blackhawks have. But when you take away the Blackhawks salary cap horror show, 3.5 million seems like a reasonable amount for the starting goalie that is Corey Crawford.
Keeping Corey Crawford around for the next two or three seasons is the best-case scenario. That would allow him to leave the NHL on his own terms while also playing as a starter for the next few seasons. Plus, as a bonus, he can help mentor the Blackhawks’ next starter brought into the team, whether it is Collin Delia or someone else added at the draft