How Could The Blackhawks Replace Corey Crawford?

As was reported earlier this week, there’s a chance Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford doesn’t return this year. Scotty Bowman told a Toronto radio station on Wednesday that Crawford’s injury is concussion-related. Unfortunately, concussions are completely unpredictable.

So what do the Blackhawks do now?

Let’s break down some options the Blackhawks might explore.

Internal Options

  • Jeff Glass
    Contact: 1 year, $612,500
    2017-18: 6 GP, 3-2-1, 3.18, .909
    Glass has been a nice story, but the thought that a 32-year-old rookie will carry the Blackhawks into the postseason feels like a fairy tale.
  • Anton Forsberg
    Contract: 2 years (through 2018-19), $750,000
    2017-18: 15 GP, 3-6-3, 2.92, .911
    Forsberg was brought in to be the primary back-up but he’s struggled this season. Since Crawford was put on IR, Glass has seen more action. If there was more faith in Forsberg, he would be on the ice more often.

If neither of these guys does it for you, the Hawks would need to look outside the organization. With the Hawks’ cap issues being less of a problem next year with Richard Panik off the books (and Marian Hossa likely spending the rest of his contract on LTIR), Chicago has some flexibility if they wanted to add.

External Options – 2018 Free Agents

Let’s start our potential trade search with players in their walk-year.

  • Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders
    Contract: $4,500,000
    2017-18: 29 GP, 13-13-2, 3.22, .906
    Halak is in the final season of a 4-year deal. The Islanders are an exciting team offensively – and defensively… but not for good reasons. Halak doesn’t get much help from the Isles in front of him. Would he be a gamble worth taking? He’ll turn 33 in May but has posted a save percentage of at least .914 in each of the first three seasons of his current deal.
  • Petr Mrázek, Detroit Red Wings
    Contract: $4,000,000
    2017-18: 13 GP, 4-5-1, 3.43, .894
    Mrázek turns 26 on Valentine’s Day and was theoretically handed the job in Detroit, only to give it right back to Jimmy Howard. He’ll undoubtedly be a popular name because of his age and the hypothetical change-of-scenery narrative, but his performance this year leaves a great deal to be desired – especially with his cap hit.
  • Ondrej Pavelec, New York Rangers
    Contract: $1,300,000
    2017-18: 11 GP, 3-6-1, 2.97, .915
    Pavalec , 30, escaped Winnipeg just in time for the Jets to figure it out and become a solid team. Coincidence? The Rangers have their own issues to deal with; they’re currently fourth in the Metropolitan. He’s inexpensive, but there’s a reason for that.
  • Antti Raanta, Arizona Coyotes
    Contract: $1,000,000
    2017-18: 24 GP, 6-12-4, 2.68, .915
    Raanta is a known commodity in Chicago, whether is his name was engraved on the Cup or not. Would the Hawks bring him back? They’re obviously comfortable helping the Coyotes remove decent players from their roster. As far as rentals go, Raanta’s low cap hit and familiarity with the organization an intriguing name.

External Options – 2018 College Free Agents

Here are a pair of college seniors who might be worthy of attention as their seasons come to a close.

  • Tanner Jaillet, Denver
    DOB: 08/18/1993
    2017-18: 20 GP, 11-5-4, 2.20, .917
    Jaillet isn’t a big goaltender (5-11, 170) but the Blackhawks will certainly see enough of him; two of his top defensemen, Ian Mitchell and Blake Hillman, are Blackhawks prospects.  Denver has another legit title shot this year, so Jaillet might not be available until later.
  • Cam Johnson, North Dakota
    DOB: 07/11/1994
    2017-18: 15 GP, 8-4-3, 1.92, .914
    Johnson, 23, is physically bigger than Jaillet (6-1, 205) and plays for another program the Hawks know well.

External Options – 2019 Free Agents

If there’s a longer term concern about Crawford, the Hawks may look to have some continuity beyond this season. And, if they are struggling to find ice time for Forsberg over Glass, they may want to find a better option for next year. The following netminders have contracts that expire in the summer of 2019.

  • Cam Talbot, Edmonton Oilers
    Contract: $4,166,667
    2017-18: 36 GP, 16-16-2, 3.11, .902
    Talbot, 30, has underwhelmed in Edmonton for an Oilers team that many felt had championship potential coming into this season. If Edmonton is looking to add depth to their blue line, the Hawks certainly have an excess of players to work with in a potential deal. But if Talbot isn’t good enough in Edmonton, what makes him good enough to save Chicago?
  • Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers
    Contract: $2,500,000
    2017-18: 11 GP, 3-5-1, 2.39, .923
    Neuvirth has lost the net to Brian Elliott, who also has a contract that expires after the 2018-19 season. If Philly is going to move one of them, it wouldn’t figure to be Elliott at this stage of the season.

63 thoughts on “How Could The Blackhawks Replace Corey Crawford?

  1. By the way Neuvirth is 29 and Raanta 28
    I general I really don’t want the Hawks to pay too much now to hurt the future, so players in their walk year might work. For one year Halak might get them in? The problem is the Islanders are close to a wild card and he’s been better than Greiss. (This year)
    What would they have to give up in a trade? to a contender.

    My preference is to keep what they have and hope Forsberg can do a good enough job. They need to develop a good goalie in their system, so much hope on one guy
    and 33 at that was a big gamble.
    Let’s hope Corey somehow is back in a few weeks. Don’t see them trading for a goalie.

  2. I don’t think Crow is replaceable for his quality given what they would have to give up. Let’s hope he can resume a normal life and get back to what he does well by being a great goaltender for our Hawks. What a terrible thing to have to go through.

    This team just has to play consistently better hockey in front of their keepers.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  3. Raanta is the only one I’d consider, but not if we have to surrender anything of value – no draft choices for sure. We already have too few of those. I’m all for standing pat and waiting for Crow, even if it means next year. The players in front of of them have to pick it up.

  4. Why not look at Cam Ward’s availibilty, played ufa and probably done Carolina and showed he still has some hockey in him. 3.3m cap hit could be done with existing room.

  5. I don’t want the Hawks to trade any draft picks or top prospects for goalie help. We’re really not going anywhere this year anyway and need young reinforcements to the roster. I agree with Tony that Raanta would be the only possibility. I hope for the best for Crow want him better before he thinks of playing again.

  6. Boys……I am with Dave Manson and Mike R. on this one. Let’s go to battle with the boys that we have. Let’s hope Crow gets better and recovers from whatever is ailing him. We could have Ken Dryden in the net and not do much in the playoffs this year. We need to make some changes AND let the kids develop.

    Less we forget, pro athletes are human and they have their demons. So whether Crow is dealing with concussion problems, alcohol rehab or whatever rehab, he is still human and STILL our goalie. We need to support him and get him back on the ice. I wish him the best and hope for his good health.

    Now we need to support our team and Forsberg and Glass. Let’s see if the boys can rally around our 2 netminders and get into playoff position.

  7. This gives the Hawks the perfect excuse to be sellers at the deadline and yet save face. You will hear we aren’t ‘rebuilding’ and it is only because of the injury, but it would have been the best course of action anyway.

    This team hasn’t threatened to do anything since giving up a 1st round pick for Andrew Ladd. That first round exit to the blues 2 years ago signaled a change in which other teams had caught or passed them in talent and that trend has only gotten worse since then. A mild selling at the deadline would help replenish the picks or prospect pool, trim salary, and speed up the rebound when the team can truly be a threat in the playoffs again. Because that hasn’t been the case for three years in a row now and it appears to still be bottoming out.

  8. Why not target Darling? No way Carolina is happy with that contract they gave him as he has been awful there.

  9. Breaking News!!

    Tony Esposito was seen at the Chicago Blackhawks training facility this morning.

    It is rumored that he is undergoing the following procedures:
    1. Titanium hip replacements.
    2. Replacement of all ligaments & tendons with space age super stretch rubber bands.
    3. Laser guided replacement eyes.
    4. Total blood transfusion with 18 year old Navy Seal candidate.
    5. Hypnosis to make him believe he is 25 again.

  10. @ HEREISMIKE

    Well said, here is the sweetener, Everybody in the WEST is in it still with the exception of the Yokes (they are a joke). The Hawks can maximise their return because some stupid GM thinks they are an Anisimov or Saad away., both would be able to fetch a decent return. Unfortunately, it all has to be on the table. Stan needs to call in his “lettered/money” players and tell them the plan. Perhaps some of them wouldn’t want to stay for a rebuild and would wave their NMC. This team has grossly underachieved so unless sitting in last place is acceptable on the West Side Stan should try to maximize his assets and do whatever he can. As much as I hate to think it, Kieth at 34, would FETCH a HUGE return. Toews likely still has some value on the market especially to a Jets team looking to win a cup.

  11. Good one! De Jordy as back-up?
    To HereIsMike-who can they sell? A mild selling would be right. I guess you might be able to get 4/6 million of relief and not be much worse off. Perhaps get a couple of mid picks, but most contending teams want you to take back salary.

  12. Which of these games since Christmas did the back-up goalies lose for us. The 5-2 loss to Vancouver (Hawks 2nd goal came with about 10 seconds left), the 2-1 loss to Minn, or the 4-0 loss to Detroit. Averaging 1 goal a game won’t win you many games.

  13. I would not give up a single draft pick or promising young player for a rental goalie. This team is not one rental goalie away from contending for the Cup.

  14. Southside Hawk fan I agree. IMO, it’s time for a rebuild. We 18 million tied up on 3 players, 2 of whom are basically only making as much as hey are because of decent (not great) play and leadership. We cannot keep depth this way.
    Trouble is, lettered money players we have are on front-loaded deals so if they get traded we lose control of them and if they retire, the cap recapture flies back on us…which could torpedo another run at being a great team right when we would need cap space.
    Catch 22.
    But I do think I would be an opportunistic seller, not a buyer with this group of underachievers.

  15. I think you have to explore, can they move Hossa’s contract? Can they move Anisimov? Saad I would keep he is too young to give up on. I sense a bounce back year from him next year.

    Kempny. Everyone needs defensemen at the trade deadline. Any other dmen that are UFAs at the end of the year and might walk. I don’t recall if Ruutta is a free agent or not. I would try to sign him to an extension before the trade deadline, though.

    Kero if someone wants a penalty killer. Sharp if someone wants a vet leader and if he is willing to take a shot in the playoffs one last time, as I’m not sure he will be in the league next year. Bouma. Wingles. Franson.

    I don’t forsee moving a big core contract.

  16. I agree with most, its time to be a seller and reload. The trades and free agents have not been working out lately and I do not think resurecting an old Hawks goalie is the answer either. BTW has there been a Neimi sighting lately?

    Stick with the goalies we have, play the kids on O and D, do not overplay the veterans like Keith and plan for a Cup run in 2020 before the window closes for Kaner.

  17. Murphy would be the most logical to move, with 82,7 & 44 if resigned and Jokiharju and Raddysh impressing in Rockford on the right side and probably better left side options coming up the pipeline. Be only 3.85 mil but would allow some wiggle room.

  18. Also with Kero starting to impress with his offense in Rockfird does that make AA and his 4.55m expendable. Thats 8.4m between him and Murphy.

  19. I like your Murphy suggestion Ian. The only question is with a lack of size on the Blueline after Seabrook, and none of the prospects appear to be overly physical, do you want to move the one young guy you have there that can deal out some physical hard hits or build around him and his contract? Seems like Murphy is young and on the upswing, which is the kind of players the Hawks would be looking to accumulate.

    I guess it depends on what is the return. For a couple 2nds? No thanks.

  20. Kero and Anisimov are not connected because they do way different jobs. Anisimov is only expendable if you are sure Schmaltz is your number 2 center. It doesn’t matter how much Kero scores in the AHL, he will never be that guy.

  21. Never said they did the same job only inferring they could be comfortable with depth at center without AA. It has been constantly said by Q that Schmaltz is a center and Kampf doing well as 3rd. You either bump one them Schnaltz to wing or Kampf down to 4th center or leave them and go with either as 4th center Wingels or Kero and 57 to wing. Which makes AA expendable.

  22. Agree Murphy’s physical play is an asset but if his spot is on the left beside Seabrook and he’s likely not going anywhere in the near future a faster set of legs with him might be more brneficial.

  23. Great point on Seabs partner needing some wheels, Ian. Unless he establishes himself as a top 4 guy, he probably is a great trade candidate for that reason. The extra years of cost control should drive his price up in any deal also.

  24. Mike reason for mentioning Keros offense was because reason he was sent down was to get confidence back in his offensive game same as Hayden his defensive game never a problem.

  25. 5 stays unless its a better player. 19 88 2 50 and 20 have to stay. Question is most moves might be at draft/summer not now. Be creative at deadline and add for free in summer.

    64 is good at faceoffs that continues for a large enough sample size he is good at position thats where you can trade 15 by having 8 and a faceoff guy. This is if were selling the extras and trading good players to get what we think will make roster better for coming yrs not now. Young faster physical smart skill.

  26. personally, I’ve liked the growth from Murphy this season and don’t want to give up on him too soon. If they’re going to move a defenseman, I would look to Kempny, Rutta, Franson & Pokka as guys who would go before him.

    That being said, Kampf has made the center position more intriguing – especially if the coaches/front office truly believe that Nick Schmaltz is a center. Anisimov would have value in a potential deal and he does carry a significant price tag IF the Blackhawks were looking to make a move to bolster the blue line/net.

  27. I, too, think Murphy is fitting in well and showing great improvement. Don’t know why so many here are down on him, but he’s young and strong and I think we should keep him.

    Also agree on Kampf. His face-off percentage is over 50% – higher than anyone except Toews, and that is a huge plus for us. And with time I think he only gets better. He’s also a good skater and is responsible with the puck. Another keeper.

  28. The ONLY options the team should consider is
    1. free agent signing; no loss. see External Options – 2018 College Free Agents

    2. Help another team save money; such that they take a high priced or unwanted back up goaltender with a swap in draft pics for helping them save money. example any of the “2018 Free Agents” and an Xth round pick for a (X+1)th round pick. Basically it would need to be a team that not only doesn’t want the goalie, but wants to free up the cap space/save money. At no point should they give anything up unless the hopes put upon the goalie are a hot playoff run……you have a hot goalie in the playoffs and anything can happen….

    At no point in time should the team sacrfice the future for a completely unknown situation…unless they are giving up completely on the current Forsberg/Glass/othe guy in which case fine shop for a reliable backup.

  29. My take on the whole thing.

    This is a hot/cold team. They definitely need an upgrade at 2nd Center. The D looks okay, but we need that infusion of youth. Is DeBrincat the real deal or another Rob Brown? He has a nice all around game. Maybe more talent, with him, will light it up. Goalie wise? I would look at those college goalies. If nothing else, they can get a taste of the NHL and we can see if they have a future. Remember, when Crawford first came up, he was mentally weak. He’d give up a bad goal and go into a mental funk for the rest of the game. He’s conquered that and become an elite goaltender…not that the NHL notices. Maybe Tanner Jaillet or Cam Johnson has the goods. Maybe not. Let’s take a flyer and find out. This current roster doesn’t have the Stanley Cup talent for this season. Again, just my opinion. We’re one or two players away on the O line and one or two players away on the D.

  30. One more stream of thought.

    People are still rocking on Murphy? Why? The kid has totally stepped up his game and has been very good. VERY GOOD. He’s learned a lot while paired with Seabrook. I do agree with Tab that Kempny and Pokka are good trade material. I’d like to see Rutta stay. He and Franson are a good pairing. They’ll have more stamina for the NHL game next year. Anisimov would be the big piece of a trade. I’d like to see how DuClair pans out. Again, if we could get a solid, young, 2nd line Center…all the better.
    I like the game that Kampf has brought. That FO% is a big deal. If we can get a young 2nd liner that can be just as solid at the dot then we’d really have something. Does that mean moving Schmaltz or Hinostroza too? Maybe. I like their youth, speed, and skill. However, unless they take the next step with their scoring, I’d like someone who will do that. It’s not a bad place to be while rebuilding on the fly. SB may pull a really good rabbit out of the hat. He has pieces to work with.

  31. Edman68. Schmaltz is not going anywhere. He is the most offensively skilled player on this team after Kane. He plays an extremely responsible 200 foot game and is an outstanding distributor, both necessary characteristics to be a solid center in the NHL. Plus he has been slowing improving at the dot. He may also be the fastest skater on the team other than Hino. On top of those pluses he is still only 21 years old. Stan will not trade him.

  32. Of who we have for young guys getting better which ones could potentially be that 1 or 2 FW and D.

    Its sort of a good situation where we kind of have to to continue the young and fast and good thing. More meat and potatoes on the table to use.

  33. There is no goalie in the World that is going to make this current Blackhawks team a Cup contender.

  34. Hawks1961 I don’t disagree, however, if we could upgrade…would you? What if we could get a Schmaltz-type who has a 50% FO%? Would you do it? I’m not averse to keeping Schmaltz and Hinostroza…but if the opportunity to upgrade came and you had to lose one. Would you?

  35. Keep the goalies we got back the truck up on the usual suspects I been wishing would be moved. Ironic how lots of u liked Saad switch. How’s that working out. That’s when the hawks lost me. And now talk of moving Anisimov. Best scoring line in NHL. Broke apart to help a cry baby get his wAy ! With panarin pwr play , OT scoring line. Shoot out lights out. Was a Kane caliber! As they say what have u done for me lately Saad ! This team now without Craw as I put it Throw in the towel my boy had enough ! Mortimer sell sell sellllllllll.

  36. No better time to bust this shit show up now that craw out. u don’t need excuses or reason to OVERHAUL The team has long hard mileage Somebody get Chip Foose on the phone please ! No need to keep bringing back old ex hawks either ! We need speed , greasey lightning speed and SIZE and youth.

  37. “There is no goalie in the World that is going to make this current Blackhawks team a Cup contender.” (Goldenrug) – Agree.

    Check the standings and revisit (honestly) what we’ve seen thru 45 games. It leads me to: NO rentals. Trade NO draft picks. Try to possibly move “an asset” or two. And, look forward to Sikura, Jokiharju, et al.

  38. I agree with DD above. Do not trade draft picks for a journeyman goalie who is not going to take us anywhere.

    Demand more of the core. If they fail (as appears likely), it’s on them AND the Hawks will have a chance to draft a really really good player in perhaps the top 12.

    Mind you this is not a tank, merely a recognition that this boat is leaking in too many spots to merely duct tape one and believe all will be okay.

    Stan has already made one really good looking trade with DuClair.

    Accrue draft picks by dealing guys who won’t be back anyways.
    Tab mentioned Kempny, Pokka. Heck sell high on Rutta if need be.

  39. 2nd line center is the last thing Hawks need to worry about. Schmaltz is the guy, potentially a budding superstar that takes over top center soon too (barring a big comeback -ala crosby/malkin once concussion etc has ample time to heal). Trading a 21 yr old with speed to burn, who distributes the puck and shows signs of having all around offensive awareness at Kane levels (and defensive awareness beyond Kane already) would be insanity. We traded Teuvo because he wasn’t showing enough (with a very limited opportunity to remain in a position or with similar and quality offensive linemates) to seize 2nd line center. He also hadn’t figured out faceoffs at NHL level. Schmaltz is ahead of where Teuvo was although it can be argued he had better opportunities to succeed playing with Kane and being given more opportunities at 2nd C, partly due to Anisimov’s injuries but also Panarin being traded. Anyhow, to sum up Schmaltz has elite offensive skills, wheels to burn, a great attitude, a good cap hit, and is beginning to win some important draws and gain q’s trust in all situations. And did I mention he’s 21 and just entering his prime years. You don’t trade guys like Schmaltz. You pray you get a chance to draft someone that might in 3 or 4 years develop enough to make your squad and begin learning the nhl game. He’s like Saad was on his first run with us only with a higher ceiling and playing a more important position, oh and a tad more speed, probably a harder shot, and way better hands. What’s not to like? Faceoff % at 21 yrs, cmon be real!

  40. Raanta I would welcome back even for a playoff run. Darling or Ward would be ok stopgaps but I also follow Carolina (love watching Aho and Teuvo) and doesn’t look like Ward is going anywhere as he is regularly outplaying darling. Also I like Forsberg. He just needs more time and rope and we are out of both if we are going to make the playoffs. Crow healthy in the net and 25-30 more games for young guys to gel, a return to form from Keith and Toews and Saad and we could make a real push in the playoffs. Subtract the healthy Crow and the push becomes more likely a whimper.

  41. Ok asked some questions regarding ability to use Crawfords ltir and for playoffs 10% rule isn’t in effect and the 10% off season doesn’t come into effect until july first. So using his ltir for expiring contracts rentals wouldn’t put them over the cap limit and be a non issue.

  42. Last night didn’t help-Blues, Avalanche, Preds win, Stars get a point.

    There’s now 5 teams ahead of them in the wild card-a bad 7 to 10 days and it may be a moot point.

    The Avalanche on a roll. It seems Colorado has had an addition by subtraction–and now Ottawa has him and are 14 points out of the wildcard.

  43. Tab…….let me ask you a question………If Bryan Bickell would have been diagnosed with MS while he was a Hawk, could he have retired a Hawk and the Hawks would have saved his money off the cap? If they had diagnosed him in Chicago we would still have Tuevo. True?

  44. Edman68- I would not trade Schmaltz under any circumstances. I believe he is a budding star. Hinostroza on the other hand I would have no problem trading if the right deal came along. He has great speed but that is about it.

  45. Reg – if Bickell had been diagnosed and retired, the answer is yes. His contract could have been terminated and the cap space would have been freed up. Which improves the likelihood that Teuvo could have still been here.

  46. Phil really good post. There are so many good things about this yr for the coming yrs we forget everytime there is something that effects this season. Were going to be good again readjust and have more options because of guys like this.

  47. So in truth…………the Hawks medical staff is the reason that Tuevo was traded!!

    So lets get rid of the head medical doctor for the Hawks!! LOL. Let’s blame him!!

  48. For the life of me I can’t understand those that say Teuvo was traded BECAUSE of Bickell, since they were traded together.

    Regardless, Reg why the obsession with Teuvo? If we still had Teuvo we most likely wouldn’t have D Kat. Before you go rambling that Teuvo is miles better blah blah frickin blah he isn’t. They are the same player, in fact D Kat is better. In both players 20 yr old seasons D Kat miles ahead considering Teuvo only played 34 as a 20 yr old. And as a 20 yr old D Kat has darn near as many points as your precious 23 yr old Teuvo.

    Either Rep Chief Blackhawk or don’t. No sense bringing up something from 2.5 yrs ago that really would have little to no impact today.

    And am I the only one that thinks our current goalie situation potentially mirrors 2009-2010 when Niemi came out of nowhere. Niemi and Forsberg are very similar. I think we are fine with Forsberg and Glass

  49. Anisimov and Hinostrova for Lehner and Kane. You can make a Schmaltz sandwich with Kanes at each end as a scoring line no defense there. Saad Toews Sharp, DCat Kampf DClair and Hartman Wingels Bouma.

  50. Rangers now without Shattenkirk long term. Possible landing spot for Kempny or Franson.

    Interesting remarks by Franson to the Daily Herald about the Hawks carrying 8 defenseman. He says he’s never dealt with a situation where two defenseman constantly sit and there is no indication of when you will rotate in. He says when a team carries 7, the 7th defenseman knows he is definitely going to play as soon as somebody gets dinged or the Coach rotates him in.
    He says with 8, when you play you know, if you make one mistake and your name is not Duncan Keith, you are benched.

    This is exactly what we have seen with Kempny and Murphy. It’s too bad. Both guys are not long for the Hawks.

  51. Craig, agree, particularly re: Kempny. He is clearly a better all around player than Rutta and yet he consistently draws the short straw into the press box. Forsling had a nice streak where he played well, but since then he has been average to bad.

    There was a stat I read on the Athletic, the Hawks’ worst defense pairing this year 5-5 goals against v. goals for is Forsling & Rutta. Q says whatever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *