Corey Crawford is heading East.
The 35-year-old goaltender signed a two-year, $7.8 million contract with the Devils on Friday as an unrestricted free agent after the Blackhawks decided not to re-sign him.
The Blackhawks had offered Crawford a one-year deal at $3.5 million, according to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. They could’ve afforded to offer Crawford more if forward Zack Smith (back) was healthy, which would make him eligible for a buyout. It would’ve freed up around $2 million for next season.
Crawford was 16-20-3 with a 2.77 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and one shutout in 40 games (39 starts) this season and 4-5 with a 3.31 GAA and .907 save percentage in nine postseason games after missing all but the final day of training camp in July after testing positive for COVID-19. He missed 80 games the previous two seasons because of concussions.
Crawford, who won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2013 and 2015, is 260-162-53 with a 2.45 GAA, a .918 save percentage and 26 shutouts in 488 games (474 starts), all with Chicago. He is 52-42 with a 2.38 GAA, .918 save percentage and five shutouts in 96 postseason games. He’s third in Chicago history in wins behind Hockey Hall of Famers Tony Esposito (418) and Glenn Hall (276) and first in postseason victories (52).
“We are excited to bring Corey into our organization, as he is a proven winner and two-time Stanley Cup Champion.” Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said. “We will look to him to assume a leadership role and be a strong presence for our young core. Crawford’s compete level and ability to battle will rub off on the entire group. This opportunity also provides him with a new challenge in his career.”
The Blackhawks re-signed goaltender Malcolm Subban to a two-year, $1.7 million contract Friday.
Subban played just 70 seconds with the Blackhawks in the 2019-20 regular season after being acquired from the Golden Knights in the Robin Lehner trade Feb. 24. Subban was Chicago’s backup goaltender for the postseason but only played half of an exhibition game.
The 26-year-old Subban was 9-7-3 with a 3.18 GAA and .890 save percentage in 20 games (19 starts) this past season for Vegas. He is 30-23-7 with a 2.97 GAA, .899 save percentage and one shoutout in 65 games with the Golden Knights and Bruins.
The Blackhawks expect Subban to compete with Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen for the starting job for the 2021 season, which the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are targeting for a Jan. 1 start. All three goalies will be signed through the 2022-23 season.