CHICAGO – The Blackhawks are letting Corey Crawford walk.
Hawks GM Stan Bowman announced Thursday the team will not re-sign Crawford for next season.
“I had a conversation earlier with Corey today. Was a bit of an emotional talk. Corey and I go back a long time.
“The message to Corey and to everyone else today is that we decided that we’ve got some young goaltenders here in Chicago that we believe in. Much like Corey needed that opportunity when he came up after the 2010 season – he had been with us a few years working his way up – we’ve got a couple young goalies here in Lankinen and Delia, who we haven’t given a real big opportunity to. With where we’re headed, the NHL is relying more and more on young players. We’re going to embrace that moving forward. “
Crawford has been with the Blackhawks for 13 seasons. He was the number one goaltender for two of the Hawks three Stanley Cup titles. But the soon-to-be 36-year-old won’t be between the pipes at the United Center next year.
“We had some incredible moments together. Looking back at this last stretch of time, to be a two-time Stanley Cup champion – the only goaltender in the history of the Blackhawks to do that, I think it speaks volumes to his ability. He’s up there with the legends of the Blackhawks.
“He never got the proper recognition early on. We had such star-studded teams. Corey was fantastic back in 2013, when we beat the Bruins. His importance to our team grew and grew. Going to the 2015 team, I look back at his performance that Cup run and he was outstanding for us. We would have never won it without Corey. “