NHL Free Agency 2011: 5 Reasons Corey Crawford Will Stick With Blackhawks

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NHL Free Agency 2011: 5 Reasons Corey Crawford Will Stick With Blackhawks
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Craig Anderson/Brian Boucher/Patrick Lalime/Christobal Huet/Nikolai Khabibulin/Antti Niemi/Marty Turco, and now Corey Crawford. For the past five years, those have been the names of the goalies that have passed through before Crawford was given a chance to start. He is the kind of player the Blackhawks have been looking for at goalie. The home-grown talent was selected in the 2nd round of the 2003 NHL draft (52nd overall) by the Hawks and has been groomed in the AHL with hopes of one day being the starting net-minder for the big team. The Hawks and Crawford have invested many years in each other, and it should now pay off for both sides. The Blackhawks will be investing in one of the best technically sound goalies in the NHL. He has proven he has what it takes to play a full NHL season and also be able to hold his own in the playoffs. Crawford was spectacular in the playoffs for the Blackhawks and almost brought them back from a 0-3 deficit to upset the best team in the NHL. It certainly wasn’t because of Crawford’s play that the Hawks were eliminated from the playoffs. On a stage no bigger, Game 7 between the Canucks and Hawks, Crawford showed his chops and kept the Hawks in it until the very end. The series was physically and mentally draining for all, but Crawford was brilliant in giving the Hawks a chance with his play in net. In the end, the Hawks came up short, but the valuable experience earned will be something Crawford can use going forward in the coming years. Here’s a look at the reasons Crawford will be offered an extension and be the option in net for the next few years:

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