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There's One Member Of The Blackhawks Core That They Should Be Looking To Trade

crawford chance

The Blackhawks should really think about trading Corey Crawford. I am sure the Blackhawks would like to trade Seabrook, and maybe Keith if the price is right, but the most realistic guy might be Corey Crawford.

There’s obviously two big hurdles to clear before the Blackhawks can move Crawford. 1) Medical. Well documented head injuries at this point. It’s not a guarantee that he ever plays again even though the Blackhawks have said publicly that they expect him to be back. 2) Corey Crawford, like everyone else on the Blackhawks, has a full NTC. I don’t have any insight into what Crow is thinking re; his future, but if he’s willing to go to contender then the Blackhawks should explore that.

There should be a market for him. 2x Stanley Cup Champ and he has the right amount of control…one year beyond this year. So Crawford isn’t a pure rental, per se. You’re also not locked into some albatross contract for a guy who has risks attached to him.

There are four teams that stick out to me as potential destinations for Crawford

New York Islanders: They haven’t had a goalie since Billy Smith. Robin Lehner has been very good since returning from his off-ice issues, but he’s free agent after this year. Crawford could improve their situation in the short term while they’re waiting to see if Sorkin or Soderstrom pan out.

Columbus Blue Jackets: In case you haven’t heard…Bobrovsky wants to get the fuck out. He’s not even dressing for the game tonight. His reaction

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Bob is a free agent this year too and you can bet that he’s as good as gone. The Jackets have a good team and I can imagine they want to flush the next couple years down the drain to follow the Flyers model of never having reliable goalies ever.

Colorado Avalanche: The Avs made the trade for Grubauer this off-season and he’s been awful. Like sub .900sv% awful. The Avs starter is noted scumbag Varlamov, who is a free agent after this season. He hasn’t been particularly great either. Crawford would certainly be an upgrade for a team that seems like they’re on the verge of being the best team in the league. They’ve got Cale Makar coming soon, and they own the Senators’ draft pick in the next draft which means they could be adding Jack Hughes or Kakko to MacKinnon, Raantanen, and Landeskog up front. Pretty good. Trading a goalie as good as Crow to be the last piece to the puzzle for a division rival is a tough decision, but I think I would do it.

Calgary Flames: A REALLY good team with the most dire of goaltending situations. Crawford as good Crawford could put them over the top in the West. They have just about everything else you need to make a deep run. The Flames have basically NOTHING give back. That doesn’t really matter though.

The most important job for Stan Bowman is to continue to shed cap space for future. This is a BIG summer for them. They need to clear as much as possible which means shedding guys like Anisimov and possibly Crawford. That’s another $10M right there. If the Hawks can do that then they can sign both Panarin AND Mark Stone.

The Hawks would obviously then have to find a starting goalie. I think they already have him and he has great hair

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Small sample size but I really like what I’ve seen from him this year. So sound and calm in net. Rebound control is generally good(except last night). I’d at least like the Blackhawks to see what they have in him. So far, pretty fucking great.

Six starts and a .939sv% while facing elite talent and a HEAVY work load.

Then when Scott Darling gets bought by Carolina, bring him home too. I’d feel VERY good about that tandem getting a nearly 50/50 split.

I love Crawford. I’d hate to see him go and I think he should have his number retired, but I don’t want the Blackhawks to be in a position in Summer 2020 where they need to make a decision on him when he has no value. Again, a lot up in the air, but his track record is probably worth the gamble for a few of the teams listed above with nightmare goaltending situations.