The Chicago Blackhawks had some great players go through their organization over the last decade. They are finally rebuilding again but they had the best run in franchise history from 2008-2017.
A big part of that success was Corey Crawford. Chicago drafted Crawford in the second round (52nd overall) in the 2003 NHL Draft. He went on to become their star goalie who was in the net for two Stanley Cup championships.
Crawford went 260-162-53 in 488 games played with a 2.45 goals against average, a .918 save percentage, and 26 shutouts.
To go with those Stanley Cup championships, he won the Jennings Trophy twice. Few goalies have ever been as good while wearing a Chicago Blackhawks sweater as Corey Crawford.
The Rockford Ice Hogs did a very good job honoring Corey Crawford
Before Crawford got to the Chicago Blackhawks on a full-time basis in 2010-11, he was mostly with the Rockford Ice Hogs of the AHL. He spent some good years there where he developed into a star goalie.
He was so good for the Ice Hogs that they decided to retire his number. That ceremony took place on Saturday night and they did a great job honoring him. Crawford wore number 50 in the NHL but his number 29 Ice Hogs number went into the rafters for Rockford.
Crawford gave a speech during this ceremony as well. He appears to be very grateful for what he did and learned while being a member of the Rockford Ice Hogs. He turned into the NHL goalie that we knew because of his time there.
He was a part of that team during a very special time. A lot of players that he played with eventually also became contributors to the success of the Chicago Blackhawks during the best era in franchise history. There are a lot of good memories that come from this event.
It is time for the Chicago Blackhawks to follow in the footsteps of the Ice Hogs. Retiring his number is debatable but it shouldn't be out of the question. One thing that should happen at a minimum is a ceremony to honor him.
He was as important to the dynasty as anyone. Without good goaltending, you don't win in the National Hockey League.