Corey Crawford was nothing short of spectacular for the majority of the Stanley Cup Finals. He held down the fort for the Chicago Blackhawks all the way through the playoffs posting a goals against average of 1.84, and a save percentage of .932%. Crawford showed signs of wearing down, but once he sowed the hole up in his catching glove, he was golden for the Hawks.
Crawford and Ray Emery gave Chicago a great one two punch this season in net, and he worked for the 6 year, $36 million contract he signed with the Blackhawks. There was speculation that Chicago may let him hit free agency after this season due to the amount of goaltending talent that is expected to hit the market next summer, but the Hawks chose to nail him down. No reason to fix it if it isn’t broken.
Crawford posted a 19-5-5 record last season and held a solid 1.94 goals against average in the regular season. With the 6 year extension, Chicago fans will be able to watch #50 hold down the net through the 2019-2020 season.
I have no doubts about Crawford’s ability to play net and stay healthy throughout an entire 82 game season, my question about Crawford is, can he play up to a $6 million cap hit on a regular basis for the entirety of the contract? Crawford is now the 7th highest paid goalie in the NHL. He’s making more money than the likes of Jonathan Quick, Sergei Bobrovsky, Jimmy Howard, and former Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi. In my opinion, Crawford isn’t worth a $6 million cap hit and I don’t believe he is better than any of the goalies I just listed.
Crawford is solid in net, but is he just a product of the environment around him? Chicago’s high flying offense owns the puck, and the defense is solid in front of him to help keep the puck out of his own end. Just take a look at Ray Emery’s numbers last season and compare them to the numbers he put up before he came to Chicago. Product of the environment? I believe so.
Crawford got himself a nice paycheck, but is he really worth the cap hit? I think it may be a bit too high.