Over the past decade, the Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the most successful franchises in the NHL raising three Stanley Cups this decade in ’10, ’13 and ’15. But now it feels like an end of an era. A rebuild for Chicago has been overdue for several years with their former championship core failing to reach the same heights as they did earlier in the decade. A big part of that run was goalkeeper Corey Crawford, who is their all-time leader in playoff wins and third in overall victories. Last Thursday, it announced that Crawford would not be returning to the team for the 2021 NHL season and would become an unrestricted free agent.

The Hawks general manager Stan Bowman made it clear that the term was looking to get younger and develop their prospects. “The message to Corey and to everyone else today is that we’ve decided we have some young goaltenders here in Chicago we believe in,” Bowman said. “Much like Corey needed that opportunity when he came up after the 2010 season, we have a couple of young goalies in [Kevin] Lankinen and [Collin] Delia who we haven’t given a real opportunity to. With where we’re headed, the NHL is relying more and more on young players. We’re going to embrace that going forward.”

On social media, there was an outpouring of love for Crawford from Hawks fans as well as the team tweeting in his honor “Thank You Corey” accompanied by a picture of Crawford lifting the Stanley Cup.

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