31-Year-Old Goalie – Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Crawford Contract Information:
In September of 2013, Crawford signed a six-year contract extension worth $36 million that will keep him with the Blackhawks until the 2019-20 season.
Crawford will start between the pipes Tuesday against the Sharks, Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Crawford might not have equaled his lockout season numbers in 2013-14, but he still ranks among the best netminders in the business. There doesn't seem to be anything that will slow him down, except injuries, of course. Expect him to start 55 to 60 games and finish in or around the league’s top 10 in wins, save percentage and GAA.
Crawford rewarded the Blackhawks' faith in him with an outstanding postseason run to the Stanley Cup. He and Ray Emery had battled for starts all season, with Crawford eventually getting the majority of starts because of an injury to Emery. But once he took over the net, Crawford never looked back. Overall, he had his best season in three years with a 1.94 goals against average and a .926 save percentage, and then topped that in the playoffs with a .932 save percentage and a 1.84 GAA. Oh yah -- and a Stanley Cup. He plays in a great system and has lots of support on a strong Hawks' squad. And his name has even been mentioned as a possibility for Team Canada's Olympic squad. You've come a long way, Corey Crawford. And he should be one of the better fantasy goalies this season.
Despite the talk of the Blackhawks trading for a goalie or signing a top free-agent twine tender, Crawford heads into camp as the number one goalie ... just like last season. And like last season, he should come out of the blocks as the top dog. Last season was a see-saw for him as he and back-up Ray Emery both ran hot and cold, but in the end, Crawford ended up with 55 starts -- the exact same number as in 2010-11. Unfortunately, his GAA and save percentage both took spikes, so there's a risk his leash is a bit shorter if Ray Emery stays healthy and can get hot. If so, we could see the same see-saw between the two men again this year and that makes Crawford a big risk as your number one man.
The Blackhawks were not expecting this from Corey Crawford last season, but he fulfilled the expectations of many who felt he was the team's goalie of the future. Crawford was 33-18-6 with a 2.30 goals against average and he buried the one-year goalie Marty Turco on the bench. For the first time Crawford is pegged as the starter in the preseason. Some will feel that his numbers will not improve in 2011-12, but the team went out and got some help for him with some muscle and veteran presence in front.
The departure of Antti Niemi should pave the way for Crawford to get more starts in the NHL. He sported a 24-16-2 record and a .909 save percentage while playing for the AHL's Rockford Ice Hogs in the 2009-10 season and appears ready to stop pucks on the big stage. Even playing second fiddle to newcomer Marty Turco, Crawford is someone to keep an eye on as an emerging goalie waiting in the wings.
Crawford is battling for the backup job with Antti Niemi behind Cristobal Huet. If he wins the job or gets the most time up with the big club, he could have a shot if Huet falls. The problem is that the Hawks have a lot of money invested in Huet. After seeing some time with the Hawks in 2007-08, the only ice time he got was a playoff game against the Red Wings where he gave up one goal and six saves.
Crawford came into the offseason believing that he would be backing up Khabibulin in 2008-09. His dreams were put on hold when the Hawks announced that they had signed Huet. Crawford is an NHL-ready goalie, but he won't see any action with the Hawks this year unless Khabibulin gets traded or there is an injury. Put him on your watch list, but don't expect too much from him until Huet goes down with an injury.
Crawford is tabbed as the goalie of the future for the Hawks. He had his best season to date with Norfolk, posting a 2.84 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. The Blackhawks are in a quandary regarding where Crawford will end up this season, since they've already got Nikolai Khabibulin as their No. 1 goaltender. If the Hawks have another non-playoff season, the team could ship Khabibulin out of town and go with the younger Crawford to further their rebuilding project.
Crawford will turn 22 in December and is considered the Blackhawks goalie of the future. Will most likely play at Norfolk this season, but is looked at as a possible future replacement for Nikolai Khabibulin in the nets. Was impressive in his two lone appearances for the Hawks in 2005-06.