The Chicago Blackhawks received quite a morale boost recently - the team’s star goaltender Corey Crawford has just signed a six year extension with the Hawks worth $36m.

The 28-year-old had a 16-7 record during last year’s playoffs, which ended with Crawford hoisting another Stanley Cup.

Crawford also won his first William M. Jennings Trophy with help from backup Ray Emery as well. Although, Crawford was only ranked 11th in wins and shutouts at the conclusion of last season, I have no doubt that he will improve even more this year. He has a lot of potential, and has proven that he can win games under pressure.

In my opinion, he’s one of the best goalies in the National Hockey League. And with two Stanley Cups to his name, I don’t think anyone can argue this fact. Corey Crawford voiced his decision to stay in Chicago very quickly.

Upon signing the extension, Crawford boldy stated: “I want to be in Chicago my whole career.”

It seems the Blackhawks organisation was more than happy to grant Crawford that request with this new extension. However, this upcoming season will be quite a challenge for Crawford due to the departure of backup goalie Ray Emery. In my opinion, the organisation should have attempted to keep both Emery and Crawford.

Crawford will easily have the starting position. However the inconsistency of newly acquired backup Nikolai Khabibulin will certainly put more pressure on him. As stated above, Crawford has proven that he can perform well under pressure. But there is always a fear of Crawford being forced to play too many games.

At any rate, I believe this is a wonderful move by the Chicago Blackhawks. I can’t wait to see how well Crawford will do this year, and how he’ll do without the aid of Ray Emery.

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