It’s been a long, hot summer and I, for one, thought I was taking advantage of it. I find myself realizing I haven’t. This summer belongs to Corey Crawford, now signed through the 2019-20 season at $6MM per (the contract takes effect the 2014-2015 season).
According to USA Today, today is Crawford’s day with the Stanley Cup:
#StanleyCup and Jennings arrive at Corey Crawford's parents @HockeyHallFame@NHL@nhlblackhawks@KellyHockeyHall
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) September 2, 2013
So much for those complaining about his parade/celebration speech. Two trophies and a Brink’s truck. “Fucking beauties” for everyone.
When last The Moose was talking hockey, Patrick Kane was wearing a unicorn head, Ryan Miller had a career and Teemu Selanne was considering golf as a career. And now your Chicago Blackhawks have answered any and all questions about their netminder. How quickly things change.
The Detroit Model – the greatest fallacy perpetrated upon this fanbase – dictates that puck possession is über alles and goalies are a dime-a-dozen. Consider Stan Bowman his own man. He now has a goalie locked-up for seven seasons and, in the season following this one, for the third highest cap hit on the team. Just when things were going well.
Is it a bad deal?
Gut reaction says of course it is. This deal has Crow in Henrik Lundqvist’s backyard. Teams with such stellar reputations for managing ‘tendies, namely Vancouver and Philadelphia, have similar deals in place. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.
What needs to be considered, however, is the likely jump in the salary cap for 2014-2015. There are lots of articles and myriad message board posts on the subject. If it indeed jumps the way some think, Crawford’s contract amount is, for the most part, moot (he’s already on the books for $2.5MM). That’s a gamble, sure, but the cap has risen predictably in years past.
Another consideration is just how Crawford plays in net. He had a monster year as the starter, helping secure the Jennings Trophy for team defense. He was stoic and resilient in the last three “must win” games against Detroit in the Conference Semis. He held his own against the Kings and Bruins, too. I thought he deserved the Conn Smythe trophy for MVP. Kane did, too.
Is that enough of a resume, though? He was average the season before. He lost Stéphane Waite as his position coach and has to contend with Nikolai Khabibulin as his back-up. Antti Raanta is likely in Rockford for only this upcoming season.
A target is now firmly planted on Crawford’s back.