Corey Crawford has officially retired.

Very sad news.

HockeyFeed

We have an early report coming from the Montreal media and although I do believe this to be completely legitimate, I am classifying it as a rumor until we hear something more official. 

That being said according to a stunning announcement from Martin Leclerc of Radio Canada, a journalist I do not believe would ever risk damaging his reputation by falsely reporting a story of this nature, veteran National Hockey League goaltender Corey Crawford will announce his retirement from the sport of hockey on Saturday. 

The news comes as a huge shock and comes just hours after the New Jersey Devils announced that Crawford would be stepping away from their team for an "indefinite leave of absence." At the time I thought nothing of it, I assumed that something had taken place in Crawford's personal life that forced him away from the ice for a period of time, but now it seems that there was something much more serious afoot as far as his career in hockey is concerned.

Crawford openly admitted that the decision by the Blackhawks to not offer him a new deal had left him hurt, and I suspect that this may have actually played a huge role in the decision that is to be announced today.

"I was pretty devastated to get the news about not returning to Chicago," Crawford said of the decision from the Blackhawks at the time.. "That's all I've known for my whole career, and they just wanted to go a different way.

To be fair to the Blackhawks it has since been widely reported that the team did in fact offer Crawford a 1 year contract, but it is also believed that there were no negotiations after that -initial offer from the Blackhawks and general manager Stan Bowman.

Crawford got more money by signing with the New Jersey Devils ( 2 x $3.9 million while the Blackhawks offer was believed to be 1 x $3.5 million). however I suspect that landing in New Jersey proved to be too much of a shock for him. Crawford played with one team his entire life and had become accustomed to being in a starting role, things that the New Jersey Devils simply were not going to offer him this season.

It's a sad way to end an amazing career, but at least Crawford will get to go out on his own terms.


Update: The NHLPA has confirmed the announcement, it is now official.

Update: Official statement from Crawford via the New Jersey Devils:"

"I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey & I have decided that it is time to retire. I would like to thank the Devils organization for understanding & supporting my decision."