The New Jersey Devils signed Corey Crawford to a two-year contract.
The second the Chicago Blackhawks announced that they weren’t bringing Corey Crawford back, it was clear that he would be a perfect fit for the New Jersey Devils. The Devils bought out Cory Schneider on the same day that Chicago made their Crawford announcement, and it all just fell into place. New Jersey has given him a two year deal with an average annual value of 3.9 million. This feels like a deal that is good for the New Jersey Devils in every way.
Without Schneider in the mix, there was no real competition to be Mackenzie Blackwood‘s partner in 2020-21. Well, with the addition of Crawford, they added a player who can absolutely be the best possible guy for the job. Crawford is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, both with the Chicago Blackhawks.
In 2019-20, he split time with Robin Lehner much like he is going to do with Blackwood in New Jersey. It clearly kept him fresh and on top of his game. He had a .917 save percentage standing behind an awful Chicago defense. In his regular-season career, he has a record of 260-162-53 with a .918 save percentage and 2.45 goals-against average. He has two Jennings Trophies on his mantle to go along with his two Stanley Cup rings. He has also come in the top ten for Vezina Trophy voting three times in his career. This guy knows how to compete.
Experience is also something that Crawford has an abundance of. He knows for one how to grind to get to where he is now. He was drafted in 2003 and didn’t become a starter with Chicago until 2011. For a young New Jersey Devils team, that type of experience will really come in handy. He also knows how to battle for his teammates which should really help an inexperienced group like this.
The number of games he will play seems to be a big topic of conversation. One thing that fans have to remember is the potentially weird 2020-21 schedule. If they start on January 1st and have a condensed 82-game schedule, there are going to be lots of back to backs. If that is the case, you can expect a near-even split between the two goalies.
Blackwood’s entry-level deal is officially expired. They are yet to give him an extension but they will. When they do, he will officially need protection from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. That will leave Crawford exposed unless they make a trade which could save them from losing one of their important skaters. These are all important things to keep in mind when thinking about a deal like this.
Even if Crawford is only there for one year, it will be nice to see him help this team grow. His compete level and knowledge might rub off on some of the young guys looking to take the next step in their careers. When they do that, the team will be able to move forward. Adding Crawford is good for this team in every way imaginable.