It’s no secret that the New York Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello needs to land a first-class goaltender this off-season. Corey Crawford could be a fit for the Islanders.
New York Islanders Head of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello knows that the John Tavares situation aside, for the blue and orange to be successful this coming season and over the next couple of years, they need to add a top-notch goalie.
It’s clear why the Islanders would have a significant interest in Crawford but would the Chicago Blackhawks move him? In the right deal, Chicago would move Crawford for several reasons.
Why Move Him?
First and foremost the Blackhawks need to get younger and deeper. Secondly, Chicago has been in salary cap hell for some time now. Rumors have been abounding that Chicago who weren’t close to making the playoffs (had a worst record than the Isles) last season is of the mindset they need to reshape their team.
Crawford is now 33 (turns 34 December 31st) and is signed for two more years with a cap hit of $6 million per season. Wile Crawford played well last season (16-9-2, 2.27, .929) he only played in 28 games due to injury.
The stars are aligned for the Hawks to trade Crawford for young assets and cap relief.
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While Crawford has a pedigree of being not only a top-flight goalie but a multiple Stanley Cup winner there are some things to consider. he is approaching his mid-thirties and wear and tear has started to catch up with the Montreal native. Obviously, there is some risk involved with Crawford considering his injury issues last season.
Those facts will somewhat offset the cost for Crawford. However, one must also consider it’s a slim free agent market (unrestricted) for netminders.
For Chicago to move Crawford they need to add depth, get younger, and land players with favorable cap situations. Could a package of either Adam Pelech or Scott Mayfield, along with Josh Ho-Sang, and a prospect or a pick (second rounder) bring Crawford to Long Island? The Hawks then could pursue a younger and perhaps less expensive goalie cap-wise.
The Islanders have a lot of young players, as well as prospects and picks to get a deal done. Trading an Anthony Beauvillier or a Ryan Pulock would be foolish considering Crawford’s age, recent injuries, and the fact he is only signed for two more years.
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The Islanders and the Blackhawks seem like ideal trading partners. Both teams really want to make a deal and change the look of their squads. Keep in mind a team looking to acquire Crawford would be one that believes it can contend next season but needs a number one goalie. Most of those teams already have a number one goalie. The Isles and Hawks would be great dance partners.