New Jersey Devils goaltender Corey Crawford takes indefinite leave for personal reasons


New Jersey Devils goaltender Corey Crawford is taking indefinite leave from the team for personal reasons, the team announced Friday.

Crawford hasn’t trained since training camp opened for the team last week. His absences were first described as “maintenance days” by coach Lindy Ruff before the team said he was taking personal days Wednesday and Thursday.

“We have to give him his space,” veteran Devils forward Travis Zajac said Thursday. “Obviously nobody knows himself better than him, so obviously we want him to be part of this team, but I think in the future he has to make that decision. I think he can take anything. the time he needs. We want him here. “

Crawford, 36, signed a two-year deal with the Devils in the last offseason worth an average of $ 3.9 million annually. He was the Chicago Blackhawks’ starting goaltender since 2010-11 – and helped them make it to two Stanley Cup championships – but the team decided not to sign him again this offseason.

The Devils needed a veteran goaltender after buying out Cory Schneider, and Crawford needed to share the net with 24-year-old Mackenzie Blackwood, who was re-signed to a three-year, $ 8.4 million contract before. the start of training camp. .

New Jersey has three other goaltenders on its camp roster: Scott Wedgewood (24 games of NHL experience), Gilles Senn (two games of NHL experience) and Evan Cormier (0 games of NHL experience) ).

Crawford ended his Blackhawks career third in franchise history with 260 career wins, behind only Tony Esposito and Glen Hall. Crawford is the Blackhawks’ franchise leader in playoff wins (52) and is the only goaltender in team history to have won multiple Stanley Cups.

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