Bowman said, “I first chatted with Corey today.” “And it was an emotional thing.”
Crawford, 35, is an unrestricted free agent. Crawford, who has spent his entire career in Chicago since being drafted in the second round in 2003, is the Blackhawks’ starting goalkeeper from 2010-11, and helped the franchise in two Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015.
Free agency begins Friday, and Crawford joins a crowded veteran goalie market, which includes Corey Schneider, Brayden Holtby, Heinrich Lundkvist, Anton Khudobin, Jacob Markstrom, Thomas Greiss, Cam Talbot, Mike Smith, Craig Anderson And Jimmy Howard. The Vegas Golden Knight are also trying to buy Marc-Andre Flury after signing Robin Lehner – who debuted last season in Chicago – to a five-year, $ 25 million deal.
Sources told ESPN that the Blackhawks were negotiating with Crawford on a new deal, but were asking for a significant salary cut from $ 5 million on their last contract. Sources say the Blackhawks were offering approximately $ 3.5 million to Crawford for a one-year deal, although negotiations fell apart.
“The message to Corey and everyone else is that we have decided that we have some of our young goals here in Chicago,” Bowie said. “Too much Corey needed that opportunity when he came in after the 2010 season, we have some young goals [Kevin] Lankinin and [Collin] Delia whom we have not given a real opportunity. Where we are going, the NHL is relying more and more on young players. We are going to embrace to move forward. ”
The Blackhawks have 26-year-old Delia and 25-year-old Lankinin, who are signed through the next two seasons. Chicago did not offer a qualifying offer to 26-year-old Malcolm Subban, who was acquired from Vegas as part of the Lehner deal, though Bowman said the Blackhawks would be interested in bringing him back.
Crawford finished his Blackhawks tenure third in franchise history with 260 career victories, leaving only Tony Esposito and Glenn Hall behind. Crosford is the Blackhawks’ franchise leader in postseason wins (52) and the only goalscorer in team history with multiple Stanley Cups.
Crawford has a career record 260-162-53 over 13 seasons in Chicago, with a 2.45 GAA, .918 percent and 26 shutouts.
Moving on from Crawford means the Blackhawks are going all in on a youth movement. While Stanley Cup stalwarts Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toes, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are still on the roster, the Blackhawks are trying to build around their next generation – including Kirby Dach (19), Alex DeBrinat (22), Dylan Strom (23), Adam Bockwist (20) and Ian Mitchell (19).