As the NHL season that felt like it would never end is now on the home stretch, Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings can start to plan-out their offseason agenda.
Usually, many of us are excited to talk about the big-ticket free agents’ general manager Steve Yzerman, and the Detroit Red Wings will be in the market to sign. The free agency period that traditionally started each year on July 1st had always been like Christmas in July for hockey fans around the globe.
It’s generally a time we’re full of hope and interest leading up to the start of the new season. 2020 is like no other, we’ve yet to see a crown awarded to a champion, and we’re well into September and still just in the third round of the NHL playoffs.
In this article, we’re going to shift gears and discuss a few free agents the Detroit Red Wings should steer clear of once the offseason does officially begin.
G: Corey Crawford
The Detroit Red Wings are in the market for a batterymate in goal with Jonathan Bernier after long-time netminder Jimmy Howard‘s time in Detroit is all but finished. It’s an offseason that is rich with free agent goaltenders available, but Corey Crawford is one the Detroit Red Wings need to avoid at all costs. Detroit is better off targeting younger options such as Braden Holtby, Jacob Markstrom, Robin Lehner, Cam Talbot, Anton Khudobin, or Thomas Greiss.
The soon to be 36-year-old netminder had once been one of the leagues best; he backboned the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cup Championships over four years. Crawford’s career numbers are awe-inspiring, posting a .918 save percentage to go with a solid 2.45 goals-against average.
Crawford has spent 13 seasons with the Blackhawks, ten of which as the teams’ starter, but like Howard in Detroit, perhaps his time is up in Chicago. Although I understand whoever the Red Wings sign to pair with Bernier in all likelihood won’t be the long-term answer, with an abundance of better, younger options set to hit the open market, Yzerman should avoid signing Crawford.
This season Crawford made 39 starts posting a 16-20-3 record to go with a 2.77 goals-against average and .917% save percentage.