Chicago Blackhawks: Breaking down Bowman’s decision on Crawford

Corey Crawford #50, Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Corey Crawford #50, Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

Corey Crawford’s departure from the Windy City was one that left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths. Now, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has given some insight into what went on behind the scenes.

The Chicago Blackhawks have a definite issue in net going into next season. With veteran goalie Corey Crawford departing for the New Jersey Devils, the Hawks now have a trio of young, unproven goalies ready to take their spotlight in the crease.

While rumors circulated that the Hawks had made Crawford an offer, many people, including Crawford’s former teammate Scott Darling, took the news that the Blackhawks would be moving on with a grain of salt.

While we may never know exactly what happened between the two sides, GM Stan Bowman talked in detail about the negotiations with Crawford on the most recent episode of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast.

Bowman made it clear that the issue with the negotiations was less about the monetary amount and more about the length of the contract, stating:

"We did talk to him [Crawford] about a one-year deal, so for us, it’s not so much about whether Corey can play two years or not. We eventually need to find the next goaltender of the Blackhawks. Corey was not going to be our goalie for the next ten years."

The offer that was tabled by Bowman was reportedly a $3 million contract for one year. Bowman made it clear that the Blackhawks are looking to move towards the future, with the team using the term ‘rebuild’ for the first time today in an open letter to Blackhawks fans.

With Crawford being 35, Bowman brings up a good point. Crow was obviously not going to be around for another ten or even another five years. With Chicago in the midst of a transition period, it is likely that committing another two years to Crawford when the team has a trio of young goalies in the wings was simply not a move they were willing to make.

Stan Bowman gets a lot of heat for the decisions that he’s made, and I don’t shy away from pointing out criticisms when necessary. However, the Blackhawks do need to look towards the future, and if the team thinks that one of the three goalies they have can step into a starting role, then this may not have been a horrible decision.

Bowman spoke highly of the options they had in net going forward, saying:

"We have three young goalies that’ve all showed a lot of promise at the American League level, none of them have had a great opportunity…..we wanna give those guys a chance and we’re certainly hopeful that they’re gonna take the most of it and step forward to prove that they’re a number one NHL goalie."

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I was always a big fan of Crawford, and I would’ve loved to see him retire as a Blackhawk. However, the team showed that they were ready to move on, and perhaps it is best for both sides. Only time will tell, but no matter what, #50’s legacy in Chicago is cemented, and Corey Crawford will go down as one of the best goalies in Blackhawks history.