Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is getting his day in the sun although it is not happening in Chicago just yet.
The Hawks AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, are retiring his number and inducting him into the team's Ring of Honor on Saturday.
Hopefully, he gets to see his No. 50 hung in the United Center rafters. We are talking about the only starting goaltender in franchise history with two Stanley Cup Championships. Although it will be interesting to see if the Blackhawks will give him that honor as he meets the years played requirement, but he never won the Vezina Trophy or is a long shot to make the Hall of Fame.
He should still get number retirement consideration since he made two All-Star teams and helped the Hawks win two more Stanley Cups during the 2010s, the golden age of Blackhawks hockey.
Crawford's numbers could have been a bit better had injuries not robbed him of more ice time during his final three seasons. He won 260 games for the Hawks with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. They may have been better goaltenders in the NHL during his time, but Crawford was good enough to win 52 playoff games.
That is why he will always be loved by the Chicago Blackhawks faithful, especially for these five reasons...
His emergence in the 2010-2011 season kept the Blackhawks' dynasty hopes alive.
Antti Niemi did just enough in goal to help the Hawks win the 2010 Stanley Cup. The salary cap crunch the team was under led to the franchise letting Niemi leave in the offseason. The front office thought Marty Turco could be a suitable replacement during the reboot. Instead, he was a flop.
Thankfully, Crawford was ready to take over in net. He proved to be worth the seven-year wait as he started 55 games that season and finished 33-18-6. What was more impressive was how good he was in the 2011 playoffs as the Blackhawks nearly upset the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
He made 202 saves on 218 shot attempts in that series. Crawford was brilliant in Game 7 and if Chris Campoli had not made that infamous turnover in overtime that left Crawford high and dry, the Hawks might have won that series.