Kevin Lankinen, Malcolm Subban, and Collin Delia, all three netminders did their best to help the Blackhawks this season, but Corey Crawford was definitely missed.
The Chicago Blackhawks missed Corey Crawford this past season, and it is important to mention him one more time. Crawford was not re-signed last off-season even though he was still planning on playing in the NHL. Then he signed with the New Jersey Devils before eventually retiring before the season began.
Despite Crawford not playing a game this season, he probably still would have been the Blackhawks starter if the Hawks did decide to give him a contract. Corey Crawford played in 488 games with the Blackhawks and he was one of the best netminders to play for the team.
Crawford has a career save percentage of .918 and a goals-against-average of 2.45, both of those would have been instant improvements over Lankinen Subban or Delia. I understand that Stan Bowman wanted to give the young Hawks net minders chances to show what they are worth this past season, but if that was the plan then why did they sign Robin Lehner in the first place?
Why didn’t the Hawks let one of these goalies learn and grow behind Corey Crawford before eventually taking the net from him? I mean Lankinen is a solid goalie but even he was used a little too much this season, imagine if he had a year to not be the guy, but rather just learn on the fly and not be relied upon three nights a week.
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A few netminders that played behind Crawford went on to be starters. While Scott Darling did not have the best NHL career he was a starter for a season, and Antti Raanta also had a great career after leaving the team.
Corey Crawford is by far my favorite Chicago Blackhawk. I think he should have won the 2013 Conn Smythe trophy, and a lot of the Blackhawks success is owed to him. The way things ended between him and team seemed kind of off, and I hope he will be back next season for a standing ovation from the fans alongside Seabrook and Shaw.
This team has had some great goalies, and Crawford is towards the top of the list. Do you think the next Blackhawks starter is on the team? Or will the team have to look at free agency to bring in a goalie.