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‘Hawks GM acknowledges Brodeur pursuit, is “comfortable” with Crawford

Stan Bowman

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman listens during a news conference Thursday, April 28, 2011, in Chicago. Bowman says one of their top priorities is to re-sign goalie Corey Crawford, one of the team’s restricted free agents. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


Days after Martin Brodeur ended his flirtation with free agency -- inking a two-year, $9 million deal to stay in New Jersey -- Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman confirmed he’d discussed bringing the 40-year-old netminder to Chicago.

While some suggest those overtures could mess with the head of incumbent starter Corey Crawford, Bowman told the Chicago Daily Herald talking to Brodeur was just a part of the job.

“Marty is the winningest goalie in the history of the game, and in some ways you’d be foolish not to discuss that with him,” Bowman said. “I don’t think it says anything about [our goaltending]. We’re very comfortable with our goaltending.”

As it projects, Chicago will go into next year with the same tandem as last -- Crawford the No. 1, Ray Emery the No. 2. The pair combined to allow 2.82 goals per game last year (22nd in the NHL) and post a .902 save percentage.

Bowman has stated on numerous occasions he believes in Crawford, often adding the organization feels he’ll return to his form of two years ago.

Crawford was outstanding in 2010-11 -- 33-18-6 record, 2.30 GAA, .917 save percentage -- but some contend that, after his first full tour through the NHL, opponents “figured him out” in 2011-12.

(Inability to seal the post, rebound control and problems on breakaways among the chief weaknesses.)

That said, Bowman doesn’t think his conversations with Brodeur undermine Crawford.
“It’s just like talking to Zach Parise or Ryan Suter. It doesn’t really disparage your crop of defensemen or forwards,” he explained. “I don’t think you would be doing you job if you didn’t talk to them.”