Crawford, a pending unrestricted free agent, was 4-5 with a 3.31 goals-against average, .907 save percentage and minus-3.23 goals-saved above average in nine postseason games after missing all but the final day of training camp in July after testing positive for COVID-19.
“I would like to be back,” he said Aug. 25 in his end-of-season media availability. “We still have a lot of great pieces on this team. To win another Stanley Cup in Chicago would be unbelievable. That’s the No. 1 goal, to win one more championship.”
Crawford, who missed 80 games the previous two seasons because of concussions, was 16-20-3 with a 2.77 goals-against average, .917 save percentage, 9.01 GSAA and one shutout in 39 games (all starts) in the regular season.
The 35-year-old is coming off a six-year, $36 million contract, and is among six potential free agents for the Blackhawks to attempt to re-sign. He’s the only UFA, while forwards Drake Caggiula, Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome; defenseman Slater Koekkoek; and backup goalie Malcolm Subban. are all restricted free agents.
The Blackhawks have three goalies under contract for next season with Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Matt Tomkins, but only Delia has played in the NHL. Delia was 6-4-3 with a 3.61 GAA, .908 save percentage and minus-.88 GSAA during the 2018-19 as a backup, but he spent all of this past season in the AHL.
Crawford isn’t interested in splitting starts like he did this past season before Robin Lehner was traded in February.
“I want to play a ton,” Crawford said. “I don’t want to play half the games and sit on the bench for stretches at a time. I think my value is just not as good doing that. I’m way more valuable playing games and playing consistently. It really depends on how much I’m going to be used. Salary, that can be discussed. That’s something that is not as important at this time. We’ll see how those discussions go, but staying in Chicago and trying to win again, that’s No. 1.”