Corey Crawford Calls it a Career, Re-Living Some of His Top Moments, Roster Starts Taking Shape, and Other Blackhawks Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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Corey Crawford Calls it a Career, Re-Living Some of His Top Moments, Roster Starts Taking Shape, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s hard to find the right words when one of the best players in Chicago Blackhawks franchise history hangs up the skates for good. It’s harder when that retirement feels premature. For Corey Crawford, whatever the reason was, he came to the conclusion on Saturday that he had played his last NHL game. After missing the previous week of practice with the New Jersey Devils, Crawford announced his retirement from hockey after ten NHL seasons. Truly a Blackhawks legend who put together a career resume that could one day see him enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

•   One silver lining to Crawford ending his career when he did is that he’ll never actually have played for any other team besides the Blackhawks.

•   While his time with Chicago was at times polarizing amongst the fan base, the organization would not have had the success they did in his tenure without him.

•   As I said before, Crawford had missed the past week from Devils camp. It’s not the first time that Crawford had been M.I.A. from a team without much information as to why he wasn’t around. But, whatever the reason, it seems Crawford’s decision to retire was made with his family fully in mind.

•   Following the news Saturday morning, the Blackhawks took some time after practice to talk about their former teammate:

•   You would be hard-pressed to find anyone with a bad thing to say about Crawford as a person and teammate.

•   Let’s take some time to reflect on some of the biggest moments from Crawford’s time with the Blackhawks, starting with the best Championship speech of all-time:

•   In the 2016 series against the Blues, giving Robby Fabbri a piece of his mind:

•   There was a bit of a surprising theme of getting into it with guys in the playoffs with the often soft-spoken Crawford, but I’m not complaining:

•   But aside from the drama away from the play, Crawford’s postseason play was a large part of the reason Chicago won Stanley Cups in 2013, where he probably deserved the Conn Smythe for playoffs MVP, and in 2015. Especially his run in 2015, having to overcome a terrible start against the Predators, being benched for Scott Darling, then having to come back and help save Chicago and ultimately capping everything off with a SHUTOUT in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final.

•   Crawford is a Blackhawks all-timer in net. He ranks among or ahead of Glenn Hall, Tony Esposito, and Ed Belfour in pretty much every major category in Blackhawks franchise history. Crawford’s the only Blackhawks goalie to win multiple Stanley Cups with the team as well. All three of those other players are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. So. You know.

•   I’m open to hearing reasons against Corey Crawford having his number retired by the Blackhawks, or why he’s not a Hall of Famer, and I’m fully prepared to tell you how wrong you truly are.

•   Thank you, Crow.

•   For the current Blackhawks, Sunday night is going to be an important night as the team is holding a full team scrimmage at the United Center. It’ll be the only simulated game action the team will see prior to opening the regular season on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

•   The scrimmage will also give us a chance to see how the opening night lineup might be constructed and which lines and pairings Jeremy Colliton might roll with to begin the season.

•   We’re still waiting on Carl Söderberg to join the team, too. Did someone forget to pick him up at O’Hare or what?

•   Finally, good luck to the Bears on Sunday afternoon!