The New Jersey Devils have signed goalie Corey Crawford to a two-year contract worth $7.8 million.
The Devils get:
Crawford, a 35-year-old goalie who has spent his entire career with the Blackhawks, including Stanley Cup wins in 2013 and 2015. After a shaky 2018-19 (2.93 GAA, .908 SV%), he managed to rebound to some degree in 2019-20. His 62.5 QS% (quality start percentage) was fourth among goalies that played at least 20 games. Crawford has suffered multiple concussions, which was the reason that his 2017-18 season was cut short at 28 games.
Fantasy players impacted:
The Devils were in the market for another goalie after they decided to buy out the contract of Cory Schneider. Mackenzie Blackwood seems suited for a timeshare, as he tends to struggle more if he's given the net by himself for long stretches. Crawford seems like a good fit for a tandem, since he hasn't played more than 40 games in each of the past three seasons. Given Crawford's relatively strong play in 2019-20, it's possible that he even takes the majority of starts if he can stay healthy for the entire season.
Fantasy Impact: 2020 Buyouts and Non-Qualified RFAs
In spite of the plentiful supply of free agent goalies, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has decided to go with a youth movement in net. Even though he wasn't qualified, the Hawks signed Malcolm Subban to a two-year, $1.7 million contract. Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen, who both spent last season in the AHL, are also expected to compete for jobs with the big club. Even though Subban's actual playing time with the Blackhawks has amounted to just over a minute, he has the most NHL experience and should at least find his way onto the roster. However, this will be a very wide-open goaltending competition.
In standard single-season fantasy leagues, you're probably best to avoid the Blackhawks goalie situation due to the uncertainty and lack of experience all around. However, we could be talking about one of these goalies as a potential breakout at this time next season. If you have to choose one, hopefully it's the right one. If you ask Dobber himself, he will tell you that goalie is Delia.
Fantasy players this helps, in order:
(I would organize the Blackhawks goaltending depth chart in the above order, at least for now)
Fantasy players this hurts, in order:
Crawford (would have been the starter had Chicago retained him)
Fantasy owners are already discussing this signing in the Forum – give your take here!