NHL: Chicago Blackhawks Championship Celebration

GOALIE CONTROVERSY!!!!1 – Crawford Signs 6-Year Deal

When you’re looking for late-breaking news on what players are close to (or perhaps in the process of) signing a new deal during the off-season. There’s really only one twitter account you need to follow. Philip Pritchard of course.

The famed “Keeper of the Cup” and perhaps a distant relative of Chris Pronger, seems to have scooped everyone in the hockey journalism world by tweeting out a picture of Crow signing the details of new contract while having his day with the Cup. It appears the picture has since been deleted though, so if you were able to save it, please send it our way.

Details after the jump

Even during a shortened season like last year, the Blackhawks weren’t able to avoid their annual goalie emergency. There were calls for Emery to get the #1 spot at several points during the regular season and then most famously, during Game 4 when the Bruins lit him up for 5 goals and exploited his weak glove hand. The Hawks still won that game by the way and Crawford would go on to be a candidate for the Conn Smythe… just in case you forgot.

So the fact that the Blackhawks signed Crawford to a bigger than expected deal shows they obviously have a lot of faith in the Mouseketeer. The deal is reported as a 6 year, $36 Million extension, coming in at a $6M/Year cap hit. Which at first glance is a bit… icky. Higher and longer than expected perhaps. I’ve never been one to really doubt Crawford’s game and thought he took far too much of the blame but with some other massive deals coming down the pike in the next few years. I was hoping for something a little friendlier.

The deal would put Crawford in the top 10 highest paid goalies in the league in terms of cap hit and overall salary. The biggest questions are simply going to be how this deal works in with the larger picture of keeping players like Toews and Kane. The cap may go up in the upcoming years but there’s no guarantee on that and there’s only so much money to work with. With some major money still due to other players, Bowman is going to have a lot of number crunching to do. Throwing out a deal this big to a goalie who is not exactly part of your inner core isn’t going to make things easier down the line.

Sure makes you wonder what level of confidence they have in Antti Raanta too, doesn’t it?

  • Research Analysis

    The year the new contract kicks in will see the cap increase by at least $6 million, so it’s kind of a wash and keeping Toews and Kane will probably hinge on offering 7-8 years. Is there a no trade clause, if not, Crow is a locked-in asset that many teams would fight over.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      On the one hand, this contract gives Bowman some cost certainty and lets him know beforehand what he has to work with in terms of re-upping Toews and Kane. And your last point is right as long as Crow continues to perform. But 6/$36 still seems steep to me and I hate paying a goalie until he is 36.

      • lizmcneill

        35, not that it’s much of a difference, he’s 28 now. I’d be fine with term OR $$ for a goalie (4M will probably be backup money by 2020), but not both. I feel this is setting up for Capocalypse 2015, and I’m sad to think of losing Hjammer.

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          Yeah, I’d be ok with term or $$ too but not both. On the bright side, I do think that in 3-4 years that the $$ won’t look too bad (assuming he stays a viable #1) so I’m more miffed at the length of the contract.

        • Waylon

          Well, I think many here were already resigned to losing Hjammer, regardless of this new contract. At some point they’re going to have to have some of their prospects step up, and the next few seasons will be indicative of their prowess in that arena. But this completely annihilates my contention that the organization did not believe in building their team from the crease outward, though. Really surprised me with this one, I don’t know why they couldn’t have signed him for less money and less years. Ugh.

          • lizmcneill

            But Rozi and Oduya are not potential core. The kids will replace them. No one in the system looks like a #3 NHL dman in a year from now.

          • Waylon

            You’re right, neither of those two will be around after their current contracts expire – but I’m having a hard time seeing how they resign Hjammer, given the other moster contracts coming up shortly afterward. I don’t want to see him gone in any event, but this looks to be another one of those let’s – promote – Leddy – and – cross – our – fingers deals.

          • Joe Banks

            I think Stephen Johns is the plan all along.

          • Waylon

            from your mouth to Stan’s ears.

          • lizmcneill

            Leddy’s not a defensive dman, the ones we do have aren’t as far along. Leddy and Oduya as our 2nd pair in 2014/5? Yeouch. Keith, better keep up your conditioning, hope the baby isn’t keeping you awake.

      • rkeign

        Damn good thing Kane took the Conn Smythe! That would have cost Bowman even more, right?

  • JC

    Too much, too long, too soon. This will hurt.

    • laaarmer

      Maybe, maybe not

  • amontesawesome

    Returning from my off-season hibernation to say that I hate hate hate this deal.

    The term is pretty insane. I don’t see the wisdom in giving 6 years to any goalie, particularly when you’re paying for ages 30-36. And it makes no sense to extend him now, of all times. Corey’s value will never be higher. What kind of year would he have to have so he would command MORE than 6/6? I don’t think the odds of putting up that kind of a season are even worthy of being considered. There’s no reason to pay him now. Why extend him now before you know what 88 and 19 are going to command?

    Bad bad bad bad bad.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      One thing that makes me really confused is that, say Crawford puts up a .920/.925 save percentage this season … at most you could still re-negotiate his contract 70 games in and still get him at roughly the same number. If craziness ensues and we were to repeat as Cup winners, his hit STILL might be exactly the same, 6 million, maybe 6.5.

      So for me, regardless of what Kane and Toews command, there’s till no reason to sign him Midas-style right now.

      The cap, by all reports, will skyrocket next year, but that doesn’t make me understand this any better.

      • lizmcneill

        Yeah, that’s what I don’t get. Was he likely to get MORE expensive? I don’t really see it, and there was another whole year before he’s UFA.

        • Paul the Fossil

          Yea this is where I’m at on it — what’s the imperative to do this signing now? Seems like the Hawks have taken on some risk that they didn’t have to. I’m fine with Crawford as the current starter but locking him all the way through age 36 seems like a reach.

    • Wowwowweewoo

      While I agree that more likely than not, Crow’s value will never be higher, consider the impact of playing in front of a potentially better defensive core than last year. Seabrook had his worst year in a Hawk sweater. Leddy could very well make another significant leap. The main regressions I see as possible or likely would probably be Hammer and Roszival. All considered, I could see the Hawks once again leading the league in goals against (fewest allowed). How would that alter Crawfords value? Two Jennings, and maybe people will start thinking Crawford is the best goalie in the NHL.. I’m not saying this will happen, but if it did, we’d be staring down the primes of 3 generational players (Toews, Kane, Keith) with some unknown in goal, since we wouldn’t be able to afford Crow. To me it’s a risk equation, and I see it possible enough (with this team in front of him) that Crows value does improve.

    • cliffkoroll

      Yup yup yup

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      Ditto for CNS.

  • mightymikeD

    This deal is fine. More than we’d have liked in an ideal world, both in terms of money and years, but pretty much bang on the going rate (see Howard, Jimmy and Smith, Mike) I don’t get the weeping and gnashing of teeth here and on the Twittaarghs. They’ve sorted it out now rather than the post-season and that means Hjammer is the only one of the “Core” who will be UFA next summer.

    For those bewailing this deal, please suggest an alternative. Raanta? Khabbi? Bringing in a Free Agent who they would have to overpay for anyway?
    I’m more than prepared to give Stan the benefit of the doubt on this.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Just a shorter term. The $$ amount doesn’t bother me too much though I think it’s a bit of an overpay. But I’m not crushed by this deal… I just don’t love it. Stan knows far more about this shit than I do. I can barely tie my shoe laces.

      • mightymikeD

        aye. There are some mouthbreathers calling this deal “Worse than Luongo’s”.. sure, the cap-hit is higher but he’ll only be 34 when it expires rather than 42 and on a golf course. It remains a very tradeable contract if things don’t pan-out, especially as goalie salaries will likely skyrocket when the cap goes up

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          That’s crazy talk (the people comparing it to Luongo’s). Luongo’s deal is hilariously bad and when you factor in how poorly they’ve handled the whole goalie situation over there, it’s almost cosmically bad whereas this deal elicits a raised eyebrow and a shoulder shrug from me.

          • mightymikeD

            Yup. Even Mooney at Puck Daddy has gotten on that bandwagon. That and the 8,000 people on Twitter who thought that they were the only ones to come up with a hilarious “Glove Joke” has got me down right irritable.

          • Joe Banks

            Re: Glove jokes… I think Crow has a very fast glove hand. In that one game that Pierre and Edzo deliberately exaggerated the issue, yeah, surely even Crow would agree there were 2 he’d like back. But NBC had to turn it into FIVE!!! – Fuck these people. Crow hung tough, and beat the greatest goalie on earth. (again, according to NBC)

          • mightymikeD

            dingdingding

          • Joe Banks

            Trade him for Ryan Miller! – sorry, Kaner

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Not sure what their jokes were but it’s surprising to learn Crow was able to catch the pen to sign the contract with his suspect glove hand, amiright?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I see what you did there.

          • mightymikeD

            and I love you both

          • raditzzzz

            Luongo’s deal isn’t as bad as some make it out to be. if a contending team has him for four seasons, he becomes very tradeable to a cap floor team. although i’m not sure how his trade restrictions work if he is moved, and whether they are transferable or not.

        • 10thMountainFire

          I really love you.

          • mightymikeD

            I think I really love you more

      • lizmcneill

        I’d rather a lower hit for the current term, given how tight to the cap we perpetually are. If it was 4.5M for 6, that would probably be “good backup/1B” money by the end of the deal.

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          I’ll buy that argument.

          • Black JEM

            At 6 million I would have liked fewer years. He wins on angles and size and his five hole just got a lot bigger thanks to the pad change.
            Let’s hope for the best – clearly they believe the cap is going to the moon. I hope the pressure to live up to this deal doesn’t give him another slump year. Because the year before last he was one of the worst goalies in the league.

    • lizmcneill

      Could they not have hung on until the season had started and he was posting (inevitably) less than his playoff .93-whatever it was? Even a 1M discount would be helpful next year or the year after.

      • mightymikeD

        nooope. Look at the FAs out there next year.

        • lizmcneill

          No one wants a FA goalie. They want cheaper Crow. Right now he has a Cup ring, a Jennings and wuz robbed of a Conn Smythe. It seems unlikely that he will improve on that so I don’t see that he would have been more expensive midseason, and they could still sign him before he got to FA in July.

          • mightymikeD

            Stan wanted to lock it up, as we’ve seen from the Hjammer deal. And Crow would never get cheaper. this idea that he’d sign for less after a couple of bad performances is dumber than those people who were desiring Steve Ott a year ago. (not having a go at you, my friend)

          • lizmcneill

            so if Crow’s posting a .917 at the midseason mark he’s still a 6M goalie? The goaltender market is that crazy?

            With the parity of skill in starting goalies and the variation a single dude can have year on year, the expensive starter/cheap backup seems so risky. I don’t get why more teams don’t go with a tandem (and keep signing or drafting a goalie prospect every couple of year, filling slots on the farm team with career minor leaguers seems a safe bet to wind up in the current situation where you have to let the market screw you over.)

          • mightymikeD

            again. not attacking you.. but let’s hear some names? Who are these mythical goalies?

          • lizmcneill

            I’m not saying to go out and sign another goalie next year, I’m asking is average-to-good goaltending actually worth 6M and could the price have come down to 5M or 5.5 a bit farther out from the Cup run but before UFA time.

          • mightymikeD

            Aye.. but what do you reckon Lundquist is going to get paid? $8M? Hiller will likely get cut loose by the Quackies and he’ll be looking for $6 at an absolute minimum. Crawford’s agent knows this. It’s a good deal (IMO)

          • lizmcneill

            Maybe it’s the best deal we could get for an NHL starter and there’s no way Crow could have been persuaded to take a home discount now or later in the season, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. If the cap doesn’t go up to about 70M next year someone will have to be traded just to fill the bottom of the roster, the following year DDN, Saad and Leddy will all need to be re-signed, and if Crow doesn’t age well 6M is a very expensive backup in the last years of the contract, especially if they’re already carrying dead cap space for Hossa by that point.

    • Marian Brossa

      It’s the last part of this that really matches my thinking. There isn’t a cupworthy free agent goalie we want that’s going to be available for less than 6 mildo per in the coming years. The options were pay Crawford in line with the inflating price of goaltenders, pay another free agent even more, or hope to catch lightning in a bottle with an unknown product .

      I also don’t see this as posing a Kane/Toews resigning problem. Not only can we expect the cap to go up by then, but Oduya and Roszival come off the books at the same time that they’ll be resigning. There can’t be THAT much of a payraise due on top of the 6.3 they already get.

      • lizmcneill

        Well, Crow just got 3.4M of a raise. Can’t you see DDN’s agent asking for something along those lines?

        Only one thing for it, they need to repeat and then Stan can hand then a pen while they’re still drunkenly declaring their love for the team (“Why is Mr Kane’s contract signed ‘that’s hockey, baby’?”)

        • Marian Brossa

          Can I see Toews and Kane each demanding 9.7 mildo per in 2015? No. Not a chance in hell.

          • Marian Brossa

            Although, I do endorse the negotiation tactics.

            If I had to guess, though, 8.5 has to be about the max that Kane and Toews could command from the Hawks. Call it “Crosby money,” remind them that they’ll be beloved by an O6 fanbase that currently treats its ambassadors very well, maybe even throw in some sort of a post-career PSC if they’re permissible in hockey. Anyone know about that?

          • amontesawesome

            8.5 is the max? What?

            And Crosby money can’t come into the discussion because he has one of the now outlawed deals with cheap years on the backend. He will be making over 10/year for the years 19 and 88 could sign.

            Claude Giroux just got 8.3. Corey Perry got 8.6. Malkin got 9.5.

          • Marian Brossa

            Citing other teams’ bad ideas doesn’t make it a good idea to sign deals of that size. I like Toews and Kane as much or better than I like any of those three, but the top players and the highest contracts almost always seem to be different lists, regardless of sport. Unless the cap moves considerably, there has to be some consideration given to the pieces that are already in place and the fact that there’s two of them. They signed at 6.3 as elite players once, I think 8.5 is a reasonable neighborhood, even if max was probably a poor choice.

          • lizmcneill

            As what they finally sign for, I hope not. As the opening offer from their side to drive the deal closer to 9 than 8, it seems depressingly plausible.

      • bennicksic

        The problem with what you wrote, and I love your screen name by the way, is that losing the defensemen in Oduya and Roszival (Hammer possibly too) will be a bigger loss than losing Crawford would have been. A lot can change by then I guess, but I look at Emery being 17-1 and Crawford’s season as an indicator that the goalie position with the current defense really can be a place where you just need someone serviceable. If this deal stops a Hammer, Oduya, or Saad deal, it was an abortion of a deal. All of that remains to be seen and Bowman probably has a better sense of what the cap will be then than any of us fans.

        • Marian Brossa

          Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that this contract for Crawford is the best use of the club’s resources, I just don’t think it handcuffs the club when it comes to Kane and Toews resigning. Kane and Toews will either resign or be signed for some Loony Tunes amount. I worry a lot though about what this means for Hammer’s future with the club– and I’d much rather have good defense with mystery goalie than mystery defense with Crawford.

          • bennicksic

            I agree. Im even not worried enough about Kane and Toews that I didn’t include them in my post. My main concern is depth (which one the Hawks both cups) and losing Saad or Hammer or both isn’t worth having Crawford. The last line of your post says what I think to a t.

            and I’d much rather have good defense with mystery goalie than mystery defense with Crawford.

    • amontesawesome

      The league average for goalies over Crawford’s three seasons as a NHL starter is .913.

      Corey Crawford’s career save percentage is… .913. To replace Crawford the Hawks would need to find a league average goalie. I think they could find one for less than 6 million dollars for 6 years.

      • Stockroom Snail

        Yeah, I was on board with the “plug in the cheaper-than-he-should-be-because-of-a-market-goof” goalie philosophy, because you have to go cheap(er) somewhere.

        I guess they’ll do the cheap plug and play with defensemen instead. Maybe those are easier to find, I dunno.

        • Stockroom Snail

          And the ‘Hawks do have a lot more foward/D prospects than goalie prospects, so it makes some sense.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Going forward, I don’t think we’re going to get the Crawford of two season ago, but I also don’t think we’re going to get the Crawford of last year. I think you’re bang on, aa. I can easily imagining him posting .913 -ish over the next 6 years, and the facts definitely suggest something in that realm, which … ya, it makes me wonder.

        I’m not among those who think you can win a Cup with average goaltending, and Stan’s just locked the Hawks to an average goaltender who managed to play above average last season. Lots can go wrong here … although granted, a fair bit can still go right. Just, number me among the more nervous.

        • red palace

          Another hand up for nervous here.

      • Commit88

        I was a little surprised at the length and amount of the contract but I’d be expecting 5 years at $5M per yr anyways. So I guess it isn’t that out of whack. I am a little surprised also he jumped the gun on the deal because what would Bowman have to lose by waiting until next summer or later in the year?

      • mightymikeD

        if you’re going to misuse stats, misuse them properly.. Crawford’s average over the last three years is 0.915. Bringing his AHL into it is irrelevant

      • mightymikeD

        and, also, name that goalie that the Hawks could get next year in free agency

    • TheRealBBOX

      If it was $5M rather than $6M, I’d be satisfied with it. That extra mildo makes me a little uneasy, but part of that might simply be shock from Bowman sort of deviating from what I expected from him, which is to go cheap on goaltending. And I guess it’s hard to ask a guy who won a Cup and who I think is better than Howard or Smith to take less money than either of those two.

      You are right that Bowman has earned the benefit of the doubt. And the logical part of me tells me there’s no way he makes this deal unless he’s certain it won’t impede the re-signing of Kane and Toews. It just feels kinda odd to me, but what the hell do I know? I’m just some asshole that posts on hockey blogs, not a two-time Stanley Cup winning GM.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Fuck Stanbo. Is 2 cups in 4 years the best he can do? Dollar Bill would be rolling over in his grave and shooting electronic blood glitter out of his mouth like a giant BloodGlitterPulsar of the underworld at the thought of paying more than a deuce of fish tacos per game days for a starting goalie and then he’d reanimate an army of Bob Pulford zombies (who’d actually be a bit more personable than the original Pulford) to eat the brains of any Chicago fan that dared watch a Blackhawks game on TV.

      Is it preseason yet?

      • gynecologist

        lol woah. that is a lot of similes metaphors, and different phrases.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Reminds me of when my dog slightly gagged like she had a piece of fur in her mouth and then a whole baby rabbit came out. You just have to let that kind of thing happen in its own time and hope you don’t get any on your shoes.

          • mightymikeD

            I love you

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            *blushes*

      • mightymikeD

        BloodGlitter, Fish Tacos and Bob PulfordZombies. I love you

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          finally, someone who appreciates my mind.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      I think you have hit it on the head. We have solid D man and F prospects, but Crow is our one solid Goalie in house. Still, I have to wonder at this deal given a year to go on the current contract. It’s not the deal itself that caused my jaw to drop, but the fact that this is SO unlike anything StanBo has ever done, especially in net.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I love you.

      • mightymikeD

        I love you, too

    • Black JEM

      There are always options, another year is a world away – wait another year and gamble, if they go deep or win another cup and he is good, pay him or realize you can no longer afford him.
      I do think his stats are system stats – Emery was as good – if the cap goes up we will be fine with it – and 10th, he wasn’t just bad in the Phoenix series in 11-12. He was the worst starting goalie in the league just about, with a team that was still very stingy in allowing shots.
      I’m just praying he doesn’t revert too much to what his average is. Last year was nice. If we get more of last year, we will all be happy.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Granted, he was bad in Phoenix. Then he was the best player in the 2013 post-season…

        • Black JEM

          Yeah he was among the best Hawks in the postseason of this last Cup run.

  • blackhawkski

    i don’t think we should worry about the resigning of Toews & Kane – however, this deal does make me worry about the resigning of Hammer.

    • Beth

      if the salary cap stays the same, the Hawks have 8.5ish to sign Hammer and a backup goaltender.

      I can’t imagine Handzus and Brookbank resigning, but they can be replaced through the system for the same or less.

      The other RFAs are Morin, Hayes, and Shaw. Unless Morin and Hayes have monster years (and no guarantee they both see significant NHL ice time yet) neither is due too much of a raise. Bollig wouldn’t be due much either. Shaw could be an issue but that depends entirely on how much he wants. His role could be filled through the system too, if necessary.

      If the cap doesn’t go up, the money will be tight. But there is almost no way the cap doesn’t go up. As long as Hammer isn’t looking for crazy money, it will be fine.

      • Waylon

        If recent D – man contracts are any indication, then Hjammer will be looking to make one big score before his career is on the downswing. And if his last year’s performance is any indication, he’s gone.

        • laaarmer

          Beth, I know you’re lonely
          And I hope you’ll be alright
          Cause me and the boys will be playin
          All night

          sorry, couldn’t resist.

          • Joe Banks

            Oh boy, was that bad…

      • lizmcneill

        Remember they are short a couple of forwards on the current roster. That takes another 1.5 or so for any average prices Pig.

        • Beth

          True. Which knocks it down to 7 million plus whatever the cap goes up. So it all depends on what the cap will be and how much of a raise Hammer is looking for. A 6×6 type deal would be workable. As long as the cap goes up in the next two years enough to cover Toews and Kane extensions, Hammer can be signed.

  • arlingtonrob

    I’m surprised by the hit and the length of this deal, unless the Hawks know something we don’t regarding cap growth in coming years.

    I’m also done speculating as to what the Hawks will do, and not do, moving forward since I had CC gone after this next season. I thought the days of committing big bucks and years to goal tending were over…

    …guess I was badly mistaken.

    I’ll be crossing my fingers in the coming years. Would hate to see the Hawks cap hobbled with an expensive backup that can’t be moved.

    • lizmcneill

      Huet 2.0? (sorry, Crow…..)

      • arlingtonrob

        Personally, I have more confidence in CC than I ever had with Huet, so I won’t be making that comparison. I just don’t know if CC is worth 6 years and 36M.

        I personally like the idea of NOT committing to goalies long term, and putting salary into the guys in front of the netminder.

        But it’s a done deal now, so I’ll be hoping for the best thru the 2020 season…

        • Joe Banks

          I like Corey Crawford just fine, but whenever you say Chicago Goalie and 6 million in the same sentence, I cringe.
          I call it the Christo-Bulin syndrome.

    • Why

      That’s kind of my reaction as well. I’m not even sure this isn’t a good deal for the Hawks, but I thought this type of signing wasn’t part of the teams philosophy.

      However, 2011 and 2012 (especially) kind of turned into wasted years because of the goalie position. If you got a guy the team believes in and can provide solid goaltending, maybe you have to do what it takes to keep him.

      • lizmcneill

        Crow was good in 2011. The depth was not good, particularly on D, thanks to the Capocalypse.

        • Why

          I’ll give you ok. And after all the guys the Hawks lost, it’s probably unfair to pin all the blame on Crawford. Still, though, that was a team that was fourth in the league in goals scored and barely snuck into the playoffs (That might be more on everybody or Turco then the Crawford, but it still speaks to having some problems in goal). And then Crawford got shelled in games 2 and 3 in the playoffs against Vancouver.

          That was a team that was going to need an outstanding goalie to go anywhere. They had a guy who played ok.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Crow played outstanding against Vancouver. He was likely the reason we went to game seven.

          • Why

            You’re talking about the same series where Chicago won games 5-0, 7-2 and 4-3 (in OT)? I like Crawford too, but I’d like to know which one of those you thought were a goalie win.

          • 10thMountainFire

            In the series against the Vancouver Canucks, Corey Crawford was outstanding. If you watched the series, you would assess the same. Specifically down the stretch in game seven, he carried the entire team into OT.

          • Why

            I remember him being very good in game 7 (although rebound control and body positioning were an issue). I also remember watching the early games of that series and wondering if he was a below average goalie. You’ll also note that how you play in game 7 has no bearing on whether you make it to game 7.

          • 10thMountainFire

            With all due respect, Crow’s performance in that series certainly was outstanding. He had some bad goals in some key moments but he also carried our asses in several stretches, to include Game Six at the UC.

          • Why

            Do you remember Game 2 or 3? Go back and watch those games, or at least some of the highlights.

          • 10thMountainFire

            This is an eternal battle here. And frankly I’m too tired to fight it anymore.

            Anyone that thinks this was Crow’s first season of above-average play is simply stupid. That’s where I’ll leave it. I’m worn out.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ok, your edit was pretty fuckin funny. Upboated.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Crawford was 15th in save percentage in 2010-11 (out of 40 goalies with 30 starts or more). He was 35th out of 42 in 2011-12. So he was just barely above the average three seasons ago, he minded the net without equipment two seasons ago, and he was above average last year. All signs point to an average goaltender. He could be on his upswing, no doubt, and reaching a high plateau of sorts, but that seems like a big bet to be making.

    • Joe Banks

      Tell Crow to brush up on his “Swiss”.

  • laaarmer

    Toews will shoot the game check taped to a puck at Crawford’s glove, and whatever he catches, he gets to keep. The rest goes to reup Toews and Kane.

    I think that’s the only way this works out correctly.

    • Stockroom Snail

      Whatever I catches, I keeps.

  • 2883

    Corey Crawford isn’t a top 5 goalie in the league, yet he’s being paid like one.

    You’re paying him like a top goalie (Rask, Rinne got ~7). Would you rather have Carey Price or Corey Crawford?

    • laaarmer

      Crawford

    • Joe Banks

      Crawford

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Are we going out drinking or filling the goalie position?

      • Joe Banks

        “Filling the Goalie position”… That sounds dirty…

    • DesertHawk

      Crow. And he is a top 5 goalie, at least last year. Most of the gnashing of teeth about Crow seems to be from people who haven’t actually done comparative analysis of the players and are just going on a gut instinct that Crow isn’t as good.

      • 2883

        I disagree but OK. There’s been a problem with consistency with Crow. That’s my major issue.

        • DesertHawk

          He’s consistently been good. And consistently had a sophomore slump like every other “elite” NHL goaltender. How much more consistent would you like him to be?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I agree. This goddamn ‘he was never good before this year’ argument is starting to really fucking piss me the fuck off, god damn it.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            All I’m saying is that he was never good before this year.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I don’t love you anymore. You gave me an aneurysm.

          • DesertHawk

            Oh you…

          • Why

            You were right about whether he’d turn into a guy that could win a cup. I’d be doubling down right now if I were you.

          • DesertHawk

            Yep. I don’t think he’s gonna be goalie Gretzky or something. But I definitely think he has earned and will continue to earn what the Hawks are paying him. If I end up being wrong I’ll eat crow (hehe) but let’s let it play out before we pile on, especially if it’s all just eye tests.

          • 2883

            More time… I would like more time. I wouldn’t have signed him for 6 years at such a giant cap hit. It’s not a smart deal. I want him to show he can BE consistent and yes he’s had 1 awful year, 1 very good year and 1 elite year. Problem is, we’re paying him as an elite goaltender when the Bowman cap management strategy has been never pay for an elite goaltender.

            The even more unfortunate part is, how sure are you that Crow IS an elite goaltender. On a scale from 1 to 10? I’m at about a 6…. I’m confident but would like more information first. That said, 6 mil is more than I would have wanted to spend on a goalie.

          • DesertHawk

            Keep in mind though, that if they’re right and he proves to be good-elite, this contract will most likely be beans in 2 or 3 years. If the cap trends the way the pundits seem to think it will. It’s all about risk assessment, the dudes who’s job it is to do that, felt it was the correct move. If I was a Toronto fan or a Vancouver fan and management did this, I’d be livid. As a Hawks’ fan, I can’t be upset about it.

          • 2883

            I’m not upset.. I’m… skeptical… leaning on just worried. I don’t know if the cap skyrockets to 80 Mil like some of the pundits say. and if it does, i’ll be angry that we wasted half of a season of hockey on what amounted to little more than measuring whose ego was larger.

      • 10thMountainFire

        This and this and this and this.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Well, through 3 seasons and 144 games as a starter (138 games started, 6 in relief), he’s posted a .915 save percentage, which is utterly average.

        Last year he was definitely top 5 … but his numbers suggest that he’s more likely to drop than to stay the same. It’s cause for wonder at the very least.

        • DesertHawk

          If we’re throwing out last year as an outlier for being too high, why would we keep two years ago, as it’s clearly a statistical anomaly too.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Dis.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Oh definitely, I’d agree with you there, dh … I meant to imply exactly that. I’m a worrier, and it just seems to me that there’s more in his history to substantiate the idea that he’s a .915-ish goalie than either the high numbers from last year or the low numbers from 2011-2012.

          • DesertHawk

            His numbers his rookie year were also pretty good. And his AHL numbers, despite the teeth gnashing, match up pretty well with the numbers, where findable, of other “elite” tenders when they were in the AHL. I actually went and looked during the Playoffs, and posted my findings here.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            I’m not completely blind to his AHL numbers as comparables, but I find that a pretty rickety set of numbers to extrapolate into an NHL career. For every handful that proves the rule, another would disprove, I expect. (Just a guess!)

            I’m not throwing him under the bus, and tehre’s no question how well he played last year, how well he played for us in games against Vancouver, etc., but it just seems to me there’s more out there telling us he’s an average goalie than a 6 million dollar goalie. What mystifies me is why we didn’t wait. IMO, we’re paying him a salary that would have been warranted had he played this approaching season in the top 10 of save percentage. Stan jumped the gun here for no reason, and chose not to rely on another season of play before re-signing. Just seems rash to me, especially at that term and salary level.

          • DesertHawk

            I tend to find myself in the camp that trusts the dude who’s led us to two cups. Admittedly I’m a huge fan of Crow, arguably the biggest on this blog and a few others, but if I with my ability to look at numbers and games played think it isn’t ridiculous what the Hawks have done, I find it hard to be upset with management (who have access to way more stuff and things than I do) when they come to a similar assessment. It’s frustrating to always be on the Crow defensive, I realize this isn’t a thing that actually needs to be done, but still.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            I hear you. I wouldn’t win a single tactics argument with Stan Bowman when it comes to hockey. I’d love to hear others’ opinions, though, as to why now and not later. I don’t mind at all paying Crawford 6 mil for 6 years if he continues the trend from last year, and management obviously thinks he will. I’m cool with that. Like you say, they know more than me.

            But his numbers to me seem average when looking at his three total seasons, and the timing of the new contract is off in my eyes … just curious, essentially, how others argue against those two opinions. Why should I be placing more weight on last year’s numbers, and why re-sign him now? (But I’ll have to rejoin tomorrow … gotta jet.)

          • lizmcneill

            i like Crow a lot, and I’d be glad to see him in chicago for 6 year, but I don’t see how waiting a few months would have made him any more expensive, and very likely less. They already bought high on Bicks, what was the rush with Crow?

          • Why

            Do you buy the idea that players tend to play better when they are not distracted? Getting Crow locked up shows Crawford that the team believes he’s their goalie going forward and tells other guys on the team that great performances are rewarded.

          • lizmcneill

            So sign halfway through the season for 5M and his play improves down the stretch, you win twice.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I just want to win once a few more times.

          • Why

            Maybe, but it’s nice not to have this hanging over his head early on. One of the maxims I strongly believe in is “Don’t fuck with your goalie.” If the move was going to be to resign him for around this amount, I support doing it now.

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t thin 5M per would be screwing him over.

          • Why

            No disagreement here but I’m talking about timing. If this is the move, I like doing it now. And the cap always makes me wish the Blackhawks got guys for slightly cheaper.

      • Accipiter

        Ray Emery was in the top 5 this year too.

        • DesertHawk

          Yep. And his numbers over the course of his career are all over the place, with way more years to factor in. He also played demonstrably weaker competition, last year. I’d be perfectly content having Ray as our backup though, that’s just not the hand we were dealt.

        • Why

          Yep, and he didn’t even get to start in the playoffs, because the coaches thought the other guy was better.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Goddamn fuckin Q. That son of a bitch cost us… wait. Sorry.

        • 10thMountainFire

          YOU are always in MY top 5.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Crow.

    • Why

      I like watching Price play goal. He’s smooth in net. But go ask a Canadian fan want they think of Price’s glove hand or his success in the playoffs. And then consider that Hockey Canada might have to make a similar decision, and I’d be surprised if the choice isn’t Crawford. I’m kind of surprised we’re having this conversation too but the truth is I think Laarmer and DesertHawk have it right.

  • Joe Banks

    I found this interesting… Chris Kuc quotes StanBow as saying “bringing Crawford into the fold long term was always part of the plan and the main impetus toward letting Antti Niemi become a free agent following the Hawks’ run to the Cup in ’10″
    To that, I say, “wow”.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-chicago-blackhawks-crawford-extension-20130902,0,3151013.story

    • Marian Brossa

      It’s all unfolding according to plan. Eeeeexcellent.

      • Joe Banks

        David Haugh’s head explodes…

    • ahnfire

      everything is always “the plan all along”

      • Joe Banks

        You noticed the pattern too, eh?

        • ahnfire

          it’s a conspiracy. it’s all a conspiracy.

          • Joe Banks

            We should start a pool on who will be StanBow’s next “Plan all along”, now that Kruger has passed the “Belt” on to Crawford.

          • ahnfire

            Teuvo is the next Plan All Along, although that might be a bit obvious (and not as sarcastic)

          • Joe Banks

            And I thought it was Johns… dammit!

          • Preacher

            What if it really IS a conspiracy? What if Tazer, Kane, and some others have all told Stan that they REALLY want to stay with the Hawks long term and they REALLY want it to be with certain other members of the current team there too? Bickell stayed for 4 a year–couldn’t he have gotten more on the big market? Call me idealistic or foolish or just plain silly, but I’m OK with living in a world where this group of players that plays so well together and has enjoyed great success (and tremendous sex!) are willing to work out deals the team can afford in order to stay together and keep winning. (The sky is a lovely blue in my world, by the way.)

          • Stockroom Snail

            Kane and Toews are not GM’s and you really don’t want inmates running the asylum.

          • Preacher

            I’m only being partly facetious. But don’t you think that the team’s “future plans” with regard to other players come up during contract talks? Not that the players call the shots, but I’m sure it’s talked about. The “home town discount” thing does really happen sometimes. Doesn’t it? (It’s still a beautiful blue sky here.)

          • Waylon

            not unreasonable to speculate – you look at players like Tom Brady, who’s renegotiated his contract I think a couple of times in order to keep his team competitive through the years.

          • Stockroom Snail

            I’d hope courtesy questions are asked, at most.

          • Why

            If the inmate makes the best prison wine, you want to keep him in jail.

          • Joe Banks

            My good friend, Andy Dufresne.

          • Why

            Let’s face facts, that guy was a model inmate. And things really kind of fell apart for everyone who worked there after he left. What I’m trying to say is the Blackhawks should keep Toews and Kane so that Stan Bowman doesn’t put a gun in his own mouth.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Line 1 is for you. It’s either that Foolish guy or his buddy Idealistic.

          • Joe Banks

            Cue the Unicorns!

      • Stockroom Snail

        Yeah, nobody says “I’m spending to cover a fuckup.”

        • Joe Banks

          Dale Tallon did.

      • lizmcneill

        Well, I believe it in that if they hadn’t had Crow they would have been forced to keep and pay Nemo and let Jelly or someone else go instead. Nemo’s current contract is up the same time as DDN’s, so if current trends continue he’s gonna get so paiiiiiid.

    • Waylon

      because they knew that Crow’s performance in the minors gave no indication to future performance (cough, cough).

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      That was the story at the time. I recall coming out of camp in 2009 the story was that the Hawks would bring Nemo up and let Crow stew in Rock Vegas simply because Crow didn’t have to clear wavers to stay down (or something like that).

      • Joe Banks

        Yup. That’s the story. Fan polls showed Crow and Antti running 50/50, it came down to contracts. (they would have lost Niemi if they didn’t bring him up)
        And the year before, Tallon announced that Crow would back up Khabby, and signed Huet a few days later.
        Hey, come to think of it, Corey is probably the one who pulled out the plug on Dale’s fax machine… hmmm?

  • duncans peace pipe

    they are preparing for a long title run. there is too much risk in trying to groom a young goalie during this championship window. i have no problem with this move as long as it doesn’t hamper the re-signing of DDN.

    • cliffkoroll

      Best explanation I’ve heard. I’m goin’ with this plus Stan having some inside dope on the cap going up.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        From what I understand, it’s not really inside dope. Everything I’ve read anticipates the cap rising dramatically over the next 2/3 years. I’d go dig out some references so you could zip through the articles, but that’s not what the internet’s for.

        • MoneyBoy

          My understanding is the first wave of new money will come from the Canadian TV deal. It’s supposed to be a pretty sizable jump from the previous contract.

          • Waylon

            That’s true if the contract honestly goes up for a real auction, with both CBC and TSN bidding for all the marbles.

  • ahnfire

    Ok. I think I am now officially apathetic to “all offseason acquisitions, signings, and wailing&gnashing over contracts and their possible impacts on future events yet to be determined”.

    I’m still at “2 Cups in 4 years. Fuck yea.”

    • DesertHawk

      Yeah. Same here. Although longterm Crow makes me happy.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I love you.

  • Stockroom Snail

    It’s a huge departure from what the ‘Hawks normally do (not paying goalies, since just before the first cup anyways) so they must be ultra sold on Crawford.

    • Stockroom Snail

      …and where was Bowman before Belfour got traded, dammit!?!

      • Preacher

        If my math is correct, Stan was 24 when Belfour was traded. So, two years out of college, and doing…what?

        • Stockroom Snail

          Not signing Belfour to an extension, I know that. I probably should let it go.

        • DJ

          Accounting/consulting, IIRC. Met the future Mrs. on the job.

          • Stockroom Snail

            Good sleuthing.

      • StealingHappyHour

        Actually, they should have traded Belfour in 1992 and held on to Hasek.

        • Joe Banks

          Arrrggghh!!! The nightmares return! So true. Shoulda kept Hasek.
          Hasek… you know what it’s like when you coulda cheated on your wife with a hot chick, and you stay true to your wife (like you SHOULD) and she up and leaves you a year later???

          And then your ex-wife and the hot chick BOTH win the Stanley Cup?

          • Why

            You were married to Charlotte Graham?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ed Belfour was sexy, too.

        • Stockroom Snail

          ….but I wasn’t in love with Hasek. Hasek doesn’t punch cops or hit Red Wings in the groin!

    • Waylon

      and now Crow won’t have his previous goalie coach – so yeah, I’ve got some concerns.

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    Pair this contract with the inevitable increase of five hole goals due to the new padss and there is going to be some caterwauling

    • Preacher

      Silly! Everyone knows Crow is weak on his glove hand. No one shoots five hole on him anymore. That’s so two years ago!

      • Joe Banks

        I’m thinking at least 2 of the highest paid Goalies are going to have 5 hole problems this year… and Toews will score at least 10 more goals than ever before…

        • lizmcneill

          Thus making him even more expensive! Dammit, this is not working out well for us….

  • StealingHappyHour

    Saad, Danault and Clendening playing on EL contracts should help alleviate some of this pain over the next few years….

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    If it’s any consolation, Crow’s 6.0MM is a quarter million less than we would be paying Miller if we had traded Kane for him.

    • lizmcneill

      And in another year he’d be UFA anyway. At least that would leave all the money for re-signing Toews and comforting him for his singe Cup ring at the age of 26.

    • Stockroom Snail

      Ooooh, and we get to keep Kane? Deal!

  • 10thMountainFire

    Seeing that he’d be in his mid-30s as the deal concludes, I’m really not all that concerned with a $6 cap hit. The cap is due to rise, as are goaltender salaries. He’s a somewhat known commodity, in spite of the Phoenix series in the 2012 post-season where he did look really bad on a few key plays.

    The truth is that he was the MVP of the post-season in 2013. He had an outstanding, almost exceptional regular season per his numbers. The pause I give here is due to his splitting time with a back-up that put up similar numbers which may indicate the blue line is more responsible for his sparkling numbers. However, even if we grant that, he’s still obviously fitting well for the Hawks’ system. The question that arises as a result of that statement is,’what happens if we lose Hammer, Oduya slides as he ages, and all of the sudden we’re looking at a few prospects that didn’t pan out on the blue line?’

    If they continue to make the bottom two pairings on defense a priority we will be just fine with Crow and we’ll compete each year for a championship.

    • Joe Banks

      Stephen Johns is the plan all along…

      • lizmcneill

        Kiddo better not pull a Schultz…..

        • Waylon

          …or a Beach. Wait, what?

          • lizmcneill

            That, too.

  • ballyb11

    Not happy.

    Worried.

    • Accipiter

      Don’t happy, be worryd.

    • DesertHawk

      ballyb, worryd is just what I assume you are at all times. Maybe just tell us when you’re not worryd. :P

      • ballyb11

        Don’t remember the last time. Don’t want to retire from the site.

        • DesertHawk

          That’s legit. You’re the resident worry wart. I consider you my foil, as I’m kind of the resident non-worrier.

  • Why

    Actually, though, Sam caught something that might be kind of important. What’s Raanta’s reaction to this?

    • StealingHappyHour

      Who cares? He’s on a one year deal. If he doesn’t like it he leave.

      • Why

        Probably a fair point. From the team’s perspective this is the right move. However, my guess would be Raanta thought that signing with a Stanley Cup contender that tended not to overpay or keep goalies around was a pretty good opportunity. A team with a relatively proven back up and a guy locked in for seven years? Probably not quite as good an opportunity. Now is probably a good time for his agent to go on “vacation.”

        • lizmcneill

          How long do you see Khabi sticking though? Dude is 40 and signed for this year only.

          • Why

            Fair point. But it ups the chances that Raanta spends the entire year in the AHL and he needs Crawford to be moved or regress in order to get a crack at the #1 spot anytime in the immediate future.

      • lizmcneill

        He’s an RFA, the Hawks have his rights till he’s 27. He can sit out or he can go back home, but he can’t leave and play elsewhere in the NHL until 2016.

  • Preacher

    Well, it’s decided then:

    “Crawford is a nice goalie, and has worked hard and paid his time to get where he is. However, that is a lot of term and way too much money for a goaltender of his ilk, and before the deal is over, it is going to be one the Blackhawks will come to regret.” –Jared Crozier, “Senshot”
    Didn’t Stan talk to this man before signing the contract?

    • DesertHawk

      Well that guy’s not allowed in my “Crow is the bestestest” tree fort either.

      • Preacher

        C’mon, he said he was a “nice goalie.”
        Is that like having “a good personality?”

        • DesertHawk

          I think so. :/

    • Why

      We all talking hockey and make mistakes from time . The bad part of about the internet is that the words tend to stick around a little longer. For instance:

      “Who would have thought that the New York Rangers would land the biggest fish in the Free Agent pond? Glen Sather opened his wallet again (at least his owner’s wallet), but this time it might actually work out for the Blueshirts. Unlike past free agent busts, they have nabbed a top 10 scorer and former Conn Smythe trophy winner, who at 31 is just entering his prime.” ~ Jared Crozier

      http://senshot.com/2011/07/02/catch-of-the-day-brad-richards-signs-in-new-york/

      • Preacher

        And all it would take is a little “this COULD come back to bite them” sort of statement. Instead, this guy goes all in on precise prediction, and, well, to use his own words, he comes to regret it. Whatever. I just thought it was interesting that someone not from this fanbase was already utterly dismissing this move. I expect this kind of thing from US, but not from outsiders. :)

        • Why

          A guy just showed me a pile of improvement and got paid. I was surprised to see how much, but still, it’s hard not to feel Corey kind of deserves this (as much as any person deserves getting paid 6 million).

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well I, for one, deserve to be paid $6 million.

          • Accipiter

            Steve Austin, is that you ?

          • 10thMountainFire

            No. It’s me. XMF.

          • Preacher

            Mike Keenan would have gotten 6 million.

          • Joe Banks

            Seconded!

    • Joe Banks

      What’s a Jared Crozier? Is that like a Hoosier that eats at Subway?

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        All Hoosiers eat at Subway. State Law.

  • Why

    Here’s the other fucked up thing that maybe I’ve been to spoiled to realize. Here’s the cap hits for other goaltenders in 2014-2015 http://capgeek.com/leaders/?season=2014&type=SALARY&position=G&limit=25. Crawford’s tied for 9th highest paid. And Lundqvist and Halak still haven’t gotten their deals. There’s a chance Crawford won’t even be among the top 10 highest paid goaltenders (and will have pretty close to an “average” cap hit and salary by NHL standards).

    • Preacher

      And among those top 10, only two have won Cups, Crow and Quick. And in the top 25 there are only 4 Cup winning tenders, two of which were for the Hawks. (Hee Hee!)

      • Why

        Given Rask’s quotes during the finals, my guess is he probably takes credit for the time Boston won.

      • lizmcneill

        And they weren’t on their big money deals when they won. HMMMM.

        That’s a good point though. Starting goalies on UFA deals seem to come in at 5.5-7M. The guys on 2M or 3M are all either on their RFA deals or not very good, or both. Given the state of the goalie pipeline the choices are gamble on Raanta or pay Crow.

        if it comes down to it…say Raanta looks like a legit NHL starter 2 years from now and they need space for Toews and Kane…someone would trade for 4x6M of Crow (crying). At that point some other goalie will be probably signing for 8 and making him looks like a bargain.

        • Why

          I’m also not high on assuming progression for guys that have not played in the league yet. Raanta’s an interesting signing but he’s got a lot to prove. I wouldn’t want to get rid of Sharpie to make room for Teuvo and I’ve got no desire to just assume Raanta’s going to supplant Crawford.

          • lizmcneill

            Yeah, with Sharpy and Crow they are known risks with aging and slumps, while with the kids the risk is that they aren’t an NHL player at all.

            Plenty of room for Teuvo, there’s the 2C spot right there!!

  • VanDorp’sMullet

    One way to look at this is that the Hawks just signed the goalie from the Stanley Cup champs. I like that way of looking at it.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I love you.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        10th–You really know how to make a boy blush don’t you?

  • Kotaku

    Slow news day, huh?

    • Why

      For a Blackhawks blog in September? No. Outside of a crazy injury or steroid scandal, this is about as big as it’s going to get in early September.