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Chicago signs Crawford to six-year, $36 million extension

Sep 2, 2013, 10:17 AM EDT

Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks hoists the Stanley Cup Trophy after defeating the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2.
(June 23, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

After winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, goaltender Antti Niemi promptly left Chicago due to the Blackhawks’ cap restraints. He was replaced by Corey Crawford and who just helped Chicago reclaim the Cup and this time, the team will be keeping its victorious goaltender for a very long time.

The Blackhawks announced that they have signed Crawford to a six-year contract extension. The financial terms of the deal were not released, but along with the season left in his previous contract, the 28-year-old netminder is now under Chicago’s control through the 2019-20 campaign.

Update: Crawford’s new six-year deal is worth $36 million, according to Renaud Lavoie. To give some perspective, Crawford’s $6 million cap hit ranks below Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask, who both come with a $7 million cap hit in their respective long-term deals, and above Mike Smith‘s roughly $5.7 million annual cap hit as well as Jimmy Howard‘s cost of about $5.3 million.

This is an obvious risk for the Blackhawks, given that just a year ago, Crawford was seen as Chicago’s biggest X-factor after his rough sophomore campaign. Even after posting a 1.94 GAA and .926 save percentage in 30 regular season games in 2013 and putting up similar numbers in the playoffs, Crawford wasn’t able to fully shake off his critics.

If Crawford regresses or simply doesn’t age well, this contract could severely limit Chicago’s chances of winning another Cup with its current core. On the other hand, if Crawford’s success in the shortened campaign was any indication of what’s to come, then he could be a key member of the next NHL dynasty.

  1. earpaniac - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    I’m gonna hold final judgement until I see a number.

  2. jacketsfan7 - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Well deserved , now work on the glove buddy

  3. blackhawks2010 - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Crows best playing is ahead of him, he’s getting better as last year proved. That said, what was the amount of the extension??

  4. florida727 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Hello Dynasty! (I hope; I’m a biased Hawks fan. Hey, at least I admit it :) )

    • blackhawksdynasty - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      Hello to you too
      : )

      • blomfeld - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        ‘Hello Dynasty’ ?

        There can only be ‘one’ dynasty with ‘one’ King as ruler … and that my friends is going to be the team aptly named so, our ‘glorious’ Kings of Los Angeles ! :)

        ps: you guys should consider dumping the Hawks and join us instead … it’s a blast man ! :)

  5. thailer35 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Over the last 3 years, of goaltenders with 100+ games played, Crawford’s save percentage ranks 22nd. Let’s see what the dollars and cents are, but the length to me is too much.
    Joe Flacco anyone?

    • gospitfires - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      agree with those thoughts, the year before the cup win, guy was barely hanging onto a roster spot (his save percentage that year was a AHL goalie number .900) . rare is a player in the NHL rewarded for 1 good season. Glad its not my team “solving” its longterm goalie situation in this mannor.

      • bhawksforever9 - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        He has had more than 1 good year. In 2010-11 he was 2.30 and .917 in a full season and was outstanding in almost beating Vancouver. The guy has only played 3 years in the NHL

  6. biasedhomer - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Good signing. Crawford is one of the better goalies in the league.

  7. lowenni - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I think Crawford is a solid goalie, but not one of the best. I think his performance and numbers both in the playoffs and regular season were inflated and misleading because of the great D in front of him. Still a top 15 goalie, but I don’t know if I’d give him $6 mil

  8. earpaniac - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    That is about the upper max of what he’s worth right now. If he continues to get better, it’ll be a good deal.

  9. dsg1616 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I thought the young Swedish kid in their system was to be the goalie of the future? what happened there?

    • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Finnish – Antti Ranta. But he’s not ready yet.

    • koredan - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Finnish, Antti Raanta. It’s hard to call him the goalie of the future when he’s still never played on North American ice and might not make the change well, but he has a one year deal and will presumably be in Rockford next season. After that, who knows?

  10. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Interesting signing. I don’t think it will hurt CHI just because they have a solid foundation for a team. Crawford doesn’t have to be spectacular game in and game out for the ‘Hawks to succeed.

    • toews19cup - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      When you have Keith and Seabrook and Hjalmarsson and Oduya as well as Rozsival and Leddy as your blueliners you don’t have to be spectacular, just pretty dern good and Crow is that.

  11. itsallniceonice - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Underrated goalie but a bad contract is a bad contract.

  12. killerpgh - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Lundqvist is going to be a very happy man….

  13. bhawksforever9 - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    He didnt get Top5 money, but he did get Top 15 money. I think he is worth what Jimmy Howard got at 5.3 million, so the extra bump is for being a Cup Winning goalie, he is a Top 15 goalie like Howard. They had no choice but to keep him after the niemi thing. Lundquist is going to get 9 Million. One less goalie on the market next year

  14. endusersolutions2013 - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I’m thinking that the Hawks are counting on the cap going up materially in the next couple years. Is Crow a goalie that they should keep – sure (full disclosure – I have two Hawks jersies – 19 Toews and “The Crow” from Cubby Tees.

    And they still will have key players to sign over the next two years.

  15. toews19cup - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Nick Hjalmarsson is the only one that will need to be resigned after this season. But 2015-2016 will be a big year with Toews, Kane, Saad, and Oduya’s contracts up. I think Stan Bowman is betting the cap will be raised to what, 80 million so boy oh boy here we go….Honestly I am surprised they gave Crow 6 years, I guess Raanta is at least 2 years away? They are in SO much better shape than after 2010, so why not the Blackhawks again? It’s time we had a back to back champion in hockey….

    • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      I have no problem with that;))) Only thing is, looking at their roster and the players they have coming up, I’m thinking a 3peat is a possibility.

      I’m very sure that by the end of his corrent contract, future HOF Coach Q will be #2 ikn alltime regular season and playoff wins.

  16. toews19cup - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    The Blackhawks let Niemi go and he has turned out to be very good. If the cap does get raised then Stan Bowman would be looking at probably more money to either keep Crow or go with someone else. The time is NOW for Chicago, so sign your core guys and keep on rockin!!! This team is pretty much set for the next 2 years and there’s no reason to believe Toews and Kane won’t stay, especially if these guys win another Cup or two…..This Blackhawks team could challenge MJ’s Bulls as the ALL TIME team in Chicago, at least in the last 50 years…..

    • thesportsjudge - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Jordan and the Bulls DOMINATED, for YEARS. Not even close.

      • toews19cup - Sep 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        2 ThreePeats, separated by MJ playing baseball. 2 Cups so far, everything is ahead of these guys, it’s way harder to stack up the Cups than the NBA titles. Hell, the Heat have been in the last 3, won 2…Just saying these guys could do it…

  17. blomfeld - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    “if Crawford’s success in the ‘shortened’ campaign was any indication of what’s to come” …

    Ahem ? “………………………………………………………………………….”

    ps friends: last night at the golf course, we had to skip hole # 8 due to a slow group which was dawdling in front of us … so after putting out on 18 and with darkness closing in fast, yours truly ‘raced’ back and played hole # 8 in-order to complete the round and have a ‘legitimate’ scorecard ! … :)

  18. pwt3 - Sep 2, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I hope to God they have already talked with Kane and Toews’s agents and have an idea of what they’ll cost.

    If this and the Bickell signing cost them Kane or Toews, they’ll go down as the dumbest contracts in Chicago history.

  19. deezenucks - Sep 2, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Just an average goalie tbh on a great team with solid d and forwards that come back hard. I’m a homer Canadian and he even got Invited to our Olympic camp but he’s nothing special IMO

    • tas750 - Sep 3, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      If your a Hab’s fan you must be upset that your 6mill per year Price got pulled in the playoffs. Is Price an average goalie?

  20. bigbadbruins77 - Sep 2, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Great signing. He is a clurch performer! Made some crazy good saves in the finals. And I’m a bs fan.

    • lordfletcher - Sep 2, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      good signing, not great..

      good only because they locked up “their” goalie for several years. Not great because he is not a top 5 or ten goalie and this deal could really hurt this club in a few years when others need to get paid and I feel are much more important to the Hawks.

      all of that said, you need a goalie you can count on… we’ll see how he holds up but I like the idea of locking him down long term (price is just too high).

      -wild fan who knows about expensive contracts :)

      • pwt3 - Sep 2, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        The only others who are up in the next couple years who are really big-time are the big two, Kane and Toews. And you have to think they’re the highest priority and the Hawks know how much it’ll take to re-sign them, and wouldn’t screw it up by this and the Bickell signing. The rest of the core is good for three or four more years (I think Seabrook comes up soonest of the remainder of them – he’s got three more seasons).

  21. shanesander - Sep 2, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Like Crawford as a person but $6M/yr is too much for guy who’s not a top 10 goalie in the league $5M ok. $6M? Think we’re looking at a guy who might be bought out or traded in 3yrs

    • pwt3 - Sep 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      I’m not a big Crawford fan, but by what standard is he not a top 10 goalie? By the numbers, he is. By wins, he is. By playoff performance, he is. By team playoff outcome, he is.

      Is it really just the defense in front of him? I happen to think so. But right now by every measure we have at our disposal, he’s a top 10 goalie easily, and arguably a top 5 goalie.

  22. phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Does this contract mean the end of Hossa in Chicago after this season? He’s still a productive and integral piece of the Hawks but it’s the last chance for a compliance buyout. After all, he’ll turn 35 during the season and he still has about 9yrs left on his deal. After this Crawford deal they’ll still have about $8mil in cap space left next summer but as Hossa ages there will be less and less chances to trade him. Hjalmarsson will get a raise (3.5) if he resigns, and the two big fish, Kane and Toews, will need new deals in two seasons (along w Saad, Oduya, and some young guys). So I think they have a tough decision with Hossa. His cap hit (5.25) isn’t all that bad now but when he’s 37,38, 39 things could get dicey. A 9-yr commitment at 5.25 for 35yr old, somewhat injury-prone player is a recipe for disaster. And Teuvo Teravainen has the ability to replace his offense in 2yrs or so.

    Overall, it was good to get Crawford resigned but he’s more of $4.5mil goalie than a $6mil goalie. He has an excellent supporting cast which shields him somewhat, so it’s risky. Smart to retain him, but definitely a questionable price.

    • tas750 - Sep 3, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      I thought each team was allowed 2 buyouts period, Hawks already used both on Olez & Montidor. Agree that Hossa will be gone soon, very sad, but we have some outstanding young talent on the horizon. Toews & Kane will take a home town discount if it leads to more days with da “Cup”. Im more worried about Hammer, Oduya, & Leady.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      The thing to keep in mind with Hossa is his concussion status. If my memory is correct there is an “out” with the cap if he’s on LTIR and can’t come back.

      He may be a concussion away. Would not wish that on him at all, and he’s beenn so valuable, contributed so many ways. And I wonder if Hawks management may be taking his likelihood for a career ending concusion into their decision-making?

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