It was announced today that goaltender Corey Crawford has decided to retire. Crawford had taken a leave of absence earlier this week, however, now an official decision has come. He is currently under contract with the New Jersey Devils. Although, he never actually played a game with the organization.
“I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey & I have decided that it is time to retire. I would like to thank the Devils organization for understanding & supporting my decision.”https://t.co/940sms5ysP
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 9, 2021
Corey Crawford Retires
The 36-year-old goaltender has had an amazing NHL career. Crawford spent all of it with the Chicago Blackhawks. He signed a deal this offseason with the Devils after the Hawks decided to go younger. However, he never actually got to play a game for them. Crawford was drafted by the Hawks back in 2003. They took him in the second round at 52nd overall. After playing two more seasons in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats, Crawford played most of four more seasons in the AHL. However, he saw a few call-ups to the NHL during that time.
Finally, after the Hawks won their first of three cups in 2010, a cap-crunch forced them to move pieces out. This gave way to Crawford and he seized the opportunity. Crawford would go on to backstop Chicago to two more Cups and multiple other achievements. Crawford’s career record was 260-162-53 and he finished his career with a 2.45 goals-against average and a 0.918 save percentage. He was a crucial part of those Hawks teams and someone fans will remember for a long time.
Unfortunately, the latter part of his career has been hampered by injuries. He has dealt with a number of things, including a very serious scare with Vertigo. When he was healthy, he was still a very solid goalie.
The Devils season plans will now need to change. Originally, it looked like Mackenzie Blackwood and Crawford would split time in tandem. Now, it’ll be up to Blackwood to show he is a full NHL starter. The Devils bought out Corey Schneider this offseason, so they will need to find a new backup or promote one. Scott Wedgewood may be the logical option to at least start the year. They will also need a third goalie for the taxi squad.
Health is the most important thing in life. So it is very understandable why Crawford came to this decision. Congratulations to Corey Crawford on a very successful career and enjoy retirement.