Goalie Corey Crawford has retired.
The 36-year-old announced his retirement Saturday, a day after announcing he’d be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the New Jersey Devils for personal reasons.
Crawford signed a two-year deal with the Devils as a free agent in October.
The Chateauguay native was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He retires having spent his entire playing career in the National Hockey League with Chicago, amassing 260 wins in 488 regular season games.
Crawford led the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cups (2013, 2015) and owns an impressive 52 playoff wins in 96 playoff games.
“I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living,” he said in a statement. “I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire. I would like to thank the New Jersey Devils organization for understanding and supporting my decision. I would like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks organization for giving me the chance to live my childhood dream.”
Crawford had been absent from training camp with the Devils since January 2, though he did participate in the first two practices on December 31 and January 1. At the time, New Jersey said they were going to give him the time he needed.
“We need to give him his space,” Devils forward Travis Zajac said. “Obviously, no one knows himself better than he does, so obviously we want him to be part of this team, but I think going forward, he’s got to make that decision. I think he can take all the time he needs. We want him here.”
Now, with the decision made, former teammates like Patrick Kane have nothing but good things to say.
“Still feel that he’s playing at a really high level, going back to last year in the playoffs,” Kane said. “I guess just wish him all the best. Obviously, we’ll have conversations and talk to him, but sometimes there are bigger things than hockey.”
Crawford was a co-recipient of the William M. Jennings Trophy twice and was part of Canada’s squad at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
As for the Devils, they’ll move on out of necessity. That opens a door for goalie Scott Wedgewood, who’ll likely slot in behind MacKenzie Blackwood for the time being. There aren’t many options left in free agency, so New Jersey will raid their own cupboard.