New Jersey Devils: Corey Crawford Retires Before Season Starts

Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Breaking news this morning. After a very brief appearance at training camp, New Jersey Devils goaltender Corey Crawford has retired from the NHL.

Recently having signed the two-year contract for $3.9 million a season, the Devils were relying on Crawford to fill in the net and give the team a chance to win a game that Mackenzie Blackwood was not playing in this season. While a player’s health is a big deal walking out after signing in good faith before playing a single game does not sit well with people and will likely make a lot of Devils fans mad. The hole in the lineup is massive and as stated before I did believe the biggest key to any success the team could have this year was focused around solid goaltending each night in the NHL’s toughest division.

The Devils are not on the hook for the contract thanks to a new rule in the CBA. He was a 35+ contract, but because of the bonus structure and the fact he didn’t play a game yet, the contract won’t impact the salary cap.

Now there are questions. Will the owners be willing to spend closer to the cap? They have always talked about the desire to do so when the team is ready but have yet to make even a moderate splash to go for a player who questioning this is fair at this point.

The next part of the equation is about said cap space. Should the Devils go after another goalie who might cost between $1 million and $3 million? If Crawford’s deal comes off the books as it appears, the Devils should have over $11 million to spend.

Devils: Sami Vatanen Adds Desperate Depth To Defense. dark. Next

That being said, they were in a better position to take on the end of a bad contract before this deal especially at the deadline to help out a playoff team and acquire stronger assets for the future. Now, this is harder to do. With Bratt’s contract up in the air, things could look a bit worse when it is all done depending on the term, and moving into the next season half of the defensive core is up for deals along with Palmieri, Zajac, and Gusev assuming they are not moved at the deadline.

Things are getting a little tenser for the team now and a good move needs to be made soon to salvage this season while not being a detriment moving forwards.