Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman joined the latest episode of NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks Talk Podcast and provided some more details on what went down during negotiations with two-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Corey Crawford.
On Oct. 8, Bowman announced that the Hawks would be moving on from the 35-year-old goalie, who looked to have plenty left in the tank for another strong season or two.
The next day, Crawford became an unrestricted free agent and signed a two-year $7.8 million deal ($3.9 million cap hit) with the New Jersey Devils.
When speaking with the media on Saturday, Oct. 10, Corey said the Hawks had offered him around $3 million early on and that he was shocked when he was later informed the team he had been the starter for since 2010-11 wouldn't require his services any longer.
"I was pretty devastated to get the news about not returning to Chicago," Crawford said. "That's all I've known for my whole career, and they just wanted to go a different way."
Bowman felt the reason an agreement couldn't be reached had more to do with the term, Crawford seeking an extra year after being offered one, as well as the Hawks newfound desire to let younger goalies Kevin Lankinen, Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban compete for the starter job.
"We did talk to Corey, right when our season ended. We did talk to him about a one-year deal," Bowman said on the podcast. "So for us, it's not so much about whether Corey can play, whether he can play two years or not, we eventually need to find the next goaltender of the Blackhawks. Corey was not going to be our goalie for the next 10 years. He's  years old and he's towards the end of his career. So it's not that we thought Corey couldn't play one or two more seasons, we made the determination that Corey wasn't going to be here for the next six or seven seasons.
"So at some point you have to find that goaltender. You can find it now, you can find it a year from now. But if you sign [Crawford] to a multi-year contract and next offseason there's a really good, young goalie that's available but you've already allocated your money for Corey for a couple years, you're not in that market, you're not able to do that. So the flexibility was something we thought made more sense for where we're at."