Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford retires after 10 seasons, NHL Players' Association says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford announced his retirement Saturday, according to the NHL Players' Association.

The Blackhawks announced in October that Crawford would not be returning to the team next season. He was currently expected to play for the New Jersey Devils.

In a statement, he said: "I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living. I wanted to continue my career, but believe I've given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire. I would like to thank the New Jersey Devils organization for understanding and supporting my decision. I would like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks organization for giving me the chance to live my childhood dream. I am proud to have been part of winning two Stanley Cups in Chicago. Thank you to all of my teammates and coaches throughout the years. Also, thank you to the fans who make this great game what it is. I am happy and excited to move on to the next chapter of my life with my family."

The Devils announced Friday that Crawford had taken an indefinite leave of absence due to undisclosed personal reasons, after a week of uncertainty in which the recently signed 36-year-old goaltender did not practice.

The team said Crawford was given off on Monday and Tuesday for maintenance after a week of training camp. He was not on the ice on Wednesday and Thursday for personal reasons.

Coach Lindy Ruff has refused to discuss the reasons for Crawford's absence.

Crawford signed a two-year contract with New Jersey as a free agent after helping the Chicago Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups.

The Blackhawks drafted him in the second round of the NHL Draft in 2003.

He was in net for the Blackhawks for two Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015.

ESPN reports the Blackhawks were negotiating with Crawford for a new deal, with the team offering $3.5 million, a cut from his salary of $5 million last year.

In a statement Saturday, the Blackhawks said "Corey has an unforgettable place within our organization, in our fans' hearts and in Chicago sports history. We congratulate Corey on a Hall of Fame-worthy playing career - one we celebrate with him today as a member of the Blackhawks family forevermore. 'Crow' is not only one of the greatest goaltenders in Chicago Blackhawks franchise history but was also a pillar in our local community throughout his entire career. With 260 career regular-season wins and a team-record 52 postseason wins, he thrilled a generation of Blackhawks fans over the last decade-plus while bringing the city of Chicago two Stanley Cups. We wish him, his wife Kristy, and sons, Cooper and Camden, nothing but the best in this next chapter."

He played 10 NHL seasons and 488 regular-season games, the NHL Players' Association said.

He was raised in Chteauguay, Quebec and was affectionately referred to as "Crow" by many fans and teammates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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