Report: Blackhawks negotiating with top free agent goalie

Could Crawford end up sharing the net in 2018-19? Also, what does this mean for his health?

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Not much went right for the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2017-18 NHL season. Not only did the team fail to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in nine seasons, they didn’t really even come close. The perennial Cup contenders ended the season with just 76 points. Clearly they felt the pinch of losing star players like Marian Hossa and Artemi Panarin, but the loss of goaltender Corey Crawford, out most of the season with post concussion symptoms, was perhaps the hardest blow.

Without Crawford between the pipes the Blackhawks relied on a mediocre platoon of Anton Forsberg, Jeff Glass, J.F. Berube, Collin Delia and everyone’s favourite accountant turned emergency NHL goaltender Scott Foster. Under Crawford the Blackhawks went 16-9-2, without him they went 17-39-10, so it’s clear to see just how valuable he is to the team.

It should come as no surprise then that Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is looking to add some stability in net for the 2018-19 campaign. According to a report from Blackhawks insider Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, the team is all in on negotiations for pending free agent goaltender Carter Hutton.

Check it out:

I’m told the Blackhawks are one of the many teams that have reached out to UFA (and longtime IceHogs goalie) Carter Hutton. No surprise there, of course.

Of course, the Blackhawks will face some competition if they plan on inking Hutton to a contract come July 1st. TSN insider Pierre LeBrun estimates that as many as eight teams have reached out to Hutton this week:

No surprise given his season (.931 SP in 32 GP) but UFA goalie Carter Hutton’s camp has heard from 8 teams today as the UFA speaking period opens. Obviously need to cut that list down and expand discussions over the next few days.

The 32 year old goaltender has played the past two seasons in a back up role with the St. Louis Blues and posted a stellar 2.09 goals against average and .931 save percentage last season. He has some history with the Blackhawks organization, playing a single game for the team back in 2012-13, the same season he starred for the team’s AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs. Could a reunion of sorts be in the cards? Time will tell.