Corey Crawford on why he retired, Blackhawks career, IceHogs ceremony, life

Corey Crawford was never one much for the spotlight. He enjoyed hearing his name chanted after a series of saves at the United Center and appreciated the love he received from Blackhawks fans throughout his career, but his impulse wasn’t to step in front of the mic. There were others on the team for that.

Well, except for that one time at Grant Park.

As Crawford said laughing Wednesday, “(My kids) have already seen it. Oh, yeah, they know. They know what dada did.”

But that normally wasn’t him. For as much passion and competitiveness he showed on the ice, he was the complete opposite off it. He was as laid-back as it got in the Blackhawks dressing room.

So when Crawford announced his retirement in January 2021, it wasn’t completely surprising he vanished from the hockey scene, though there was mystery and intrigue over why he retired. He had signed a two-year contract with the New Jersey Devils and opened training camp with them, but he then stepped away from the team for personal reasons and soon announced his retirement. Since then, Crawford has laid low. He’s declined interviews. He showed up for Marian Hossa’s retirement ceremony last year, but he’s mostly remained out of the public eye for the last few years even as he and his family have stayed in the Chicago area.

That was until recently. Crawford had been asked in the past to be honored by a few of his former teams, but he wasn’t ready for that yet. He needed more time after his playing career. But he’s in a different place now. All of a sudden, Crawford is everywhere, at least relative to him. He had his number, 29, retired by the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL in late November and will be in attendance Saturday as the Rockford IceHogs add him to their Ring of Honor.

Leading up to Saturday’s ceremony, Crawford talked with The Athletic about why he retired, what happened in New Jersey, his memories of the IceHogs and Blackhawks, what he’s up to now and more.

(Note: This Q&A was edited for length and clarity.)

You had your Moncton ceremony in November and now have this — is that because you’re more open to these types of celebrations of your career now, or is that just a coincidence to have them so close?

I think Bernie (Mark Bernard), who is in Rockford, asked me, I think, last year, but I needed more time to just settle in. We moved out of the city to get to the suburbs. Plus, it was COVID, too, all that stuff to do in Moncton, it was kind of like a few years for the right timing for it. This year, it feels so weird, not to do just one, but to do two of them is crazy. I never thought that would happen. It’s pretty cool.

You fell out of the public eye after you retired. Have you needed a few years to process everything and get away from hockey before allowing people to remember your career and now you can embrace this?

It was definitely tough to end the way I did playing hockey, but it was the right choice for me. I was on a bunch of…

- Advertisement -

Read More: Corey Crawford on why he retired, Blackhawks career, IceHogs ceremony, life 2024-02-08 21:08:58

- Advertisement -

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments