A few days ago, the New Jersey Devils bought out the final two years of Cory Schneider’s contract. This saved the team $4,000,000 in cap space and opened room for them to sign an actual “1b” or backup goaltender. And, if the Devils were to sign a goalie, this was the year to do it. There is/was an absurd number of goaltenders on the market both from free agency and via trade. This mostly because there is going to be an expansion draft next year.
With all these fantastic netminders on the market, the Devils choose wisely. They replaced a Cory, with a Corey. Last night the Devils signed Corey Crawford to a two-year deal. Today, I’m going to be taking a brief look at both the contract and the player to see if he’s a good fit for the Devils.
Background and Statistics
Corey Crawford is a 35-year-old goaltender from Montreal. He was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round, 52nd overall in the 2003 entry draft. However, he didn’t make the NHL full time until the 2010-11 season. Though, when he finally made it, he was spectacular with a record of 33-18-6 and a .917 save percentage in 55 games.
Crawford has been one of the best and most consistent goaltender in the league, with arguably, only one bad season. Even last year when Chicago was not very good, he was still very consistent with a .917 save percentage, just one point below his career average .918.
Fit on the Roster
Corey Crawford is a perfect fit for the New Jersey Devils. Specefically, he is a great fit for the team not only because of how good he is but also because he is going to fill a special role. Something former Devils’ Cory Schneider did very well, and that is mentor Mackenzie Blackwood. In a lot of instance, when teams have young a young goalie, they complement them with veterans. Elliott to Hart in Philadelphia and the Capitals just signed Henrik Lundqvist to complement Ilya Samsonov in Washington.
Contract wise, the money spent on Crawford is much the savings of the Cory Schneider contract. The layout is as follows: $3,600,000 for year one and $4,200,000 for year two for an average annual value of $3,900,000.
Overall, the contract is again a great fit for the Devils. It’s a very low-risk, high-reward deal because if he struggles this year there is a chance Seattle can take him in the upcoming expansion draft. Or the Devils can trade him to a team that had a goalie taken.
Yeah, this signing has all the makings of being a good fit. Each for actual team-fit on the roster and fit cap-wise. Finally, A couple of aspects to takeaways to end the article. The Devils were aiming for either Cam Talbot or Thomas Griess and ended up getting a goalie that is arguably better than both. And, for those of you who are still hating on this signing, at least it’s not Jack Johnson.