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!