Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford not returning to team next season

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Blackhawks announced Thursday that goaltender Corey Crawford will not be returning to the team next season.

Crawford, 35, is now a free agent after spending his entire 13-season career with the Blackhawks, who drafted him in the second round of the NHL Draft in 2003.

Crawford has been 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.

"The message to Corey and to everyone else today is that we've decided we have some young goaltenders here in Chicago we believe in," Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said. "Much like Corey needed that opportunity when he came up after the 2010 season, we have a couple young goalies in (Kevin) Lankinen and (Colin) Delia who we haven't given a real opportunity to. With where we're headed, the NHL is relying more and more on young players. We're going to embrace that going forward."
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