Crawford Retires

After announcing yesterday that goaltender Corey Crawford would be taking a leave of absence for personal reasons, the Devils have followed that up with an announcement of his retirement.

The 36-year-old goalie acquired via free agency this past off-season played 488 regular season games over ten NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.

He had signed a two-year contract with the Devils, but will not have played a game for New Jersey.

Crawford thanked both the Devils and Blackhawks organizations in a statement made following his sudden retirement.

He said (as reported by Chris Wescott on the Devils app): “I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living. I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire. I would like to thank the New Jersey Devils organization for understanding and supporting my decision. I would like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks organization for giving me the chance to live my childhood dream. I am proud to have been part of winning two Stanley Cups in Chicago. Thank you to all of my teammates and coaches throughout the years. Also, thank you to the fans who make this great game what it is. I am happy and excited to move on to the next chapter of my life with my family.

Although he never officially played a game as a Devil, Crawford will be missed. He was such a great person around the game and getting his name on the Cup in Chicago will make him live on in NHL annals. It would have been great to see what he could have done with the Devils and Mackenzie Blackwood in particular as a mentor.

Here’s wishing him all the best in his retirement!

Devils Grant Crawford Indefinite Leave of Absence

The Devils announced today that they have granted goaltender Corey Crawford an indefinite leave of absence “due to personal reasons.”

I hope Corey and his family are doing well. It will be great to see him in the Devils crease at some point, but this seems like something that he needs to handle and I wish him the best of luck.

The Devils goaltending situation, however, seems to be in great hands while Crawford is out. In addition to Mackenzie Blackwood, who opened many eyes last season, the reacquired Scott Wedgewood has been turning some heads in training camp this year.

According to Catherine Bogart on the Devils’ official app, the 28-year-old netminder has been getting rave reviews at camp, including from his peers. Blackwood told Bogart that “Wedge is a good goalie. Today he played well, he played well in that last game, so it’s great to see, I’m happy that he’s playing so great. I think since the last time I played with him to now he’s really grown a lot as a goalie and as a person so I’m really happy for him.” According to Bogart, the two were last teammates on the 2016-17 Albany Devils.

But Wedgewood is not only making an impression on teammates with his new compete level, coaches are taking notice too. Head Coach Lindy Ruff told Bogart: “Scott has had an excellent camp so far, played well in the games. His practices, he’s been real sharp. So for me, he’s had a very good camp so far. I think he was here competing for an opportunity and his compete has been great, his practices and games have been excellent.”

For now, it looks like the team and fans have nothing to worry about between the pipes.