Two-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Corey Crawford has announced his retirement from the NHL after 11 seasons, a week before the opening of the 2021 NHL season.
With just days to go until puck drop on the 2021 NHL season, former Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford has decided to hang up the skates and call it a career.
The 36-year0old Crawford signed a two year contract with the New Jersey Devils this offseason but will retire having only ever played a game as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks by retiring before the season begins.
Shortly before the announcement of his retirement, it was reported that Crawford was taking an “indefinite leave of absence” from the team.
“I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living,” Crawford said in a statement. “I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire. I would like to thank the New Jersey Devils organization for understanding and supporting my decision. I would like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks organization for giving me the chance to live my childhood dream.”
Corey Crawford retires as one of the best Blackhawks of all time
Crawford spent his entire 13-year career as a member of the Blackhawks, playing in 488 games while going 260-162-53 with a 2.45 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and 26 shutouts throughout his career. Crawford was also 52-42 with a 2.38 GAA, .918 save percentage and five shutouts in 96 Stanley Cup Playoff games, winning the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2013 and 2015.
“I am proud to have been part of winning two Stanley Cups in Chicago,” Crawford said. “Thank you to all of my teammates and coaches throughout the years. Also, thank you to the fans who make this great game what it is. I am happy and excited to move on to the next chapter of my life with my family.”
The Devils were planning to come into the season with a solid tandem of Mackenzie Blackwood and Crawford to try and bring them back to playoff contention with their young roster, but with Crawford’s unexpected departure, the Devils are left with Mackenzie Blackwood and Scott Wedgewood as their goaltending tandem.
While this move does leave the Devils in a tough spot, you can never fault a man for doing what’s best for his future. After a career like Crawford has had, he has nothing left to prove, and full respect to him for leaving the sport on his own terms and listening to his body. He leaves the sport as one of the most under-appreciated goalies of his time, a two-time champion, and perhaps a future hall of fame bid in his future as well. Happy retirement, what a career it was.