The New Jersey Devils announced on Friday afternoon that goaltender Corey Crawford has left the team indefinitely due to personal reasons.
Crawford signed a two-year contract which carries a cap hit of $3.9 million with the team as an unrestricted free agent on October 9 after the Devils’ .9127 five-on-five save percentage last season was the ninth-worst in the NHL.
The 36-year-old has not played in more than 40 games in any of the past three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Crawford went 16-20-3 with a .917 save percentage, a 2.88 goals-against average, and one shutout during the 2019-20 regular season. After testing positive for COVID-19, Crawford went 4-5 while posting a .907 save percentage and a 3.31 goals-against average in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Devils will enter the season with sophomore MacKenzie Blackwood, who went 22-14-8, a .915 save percentage, a 2.77 goals-against average, and three shutouts last season, as the undisputed No. 1 goalie.
The team signed defenseman Sami Vatanen on Wednesday to help after the Devils allowed an average of 3.25 goals-per-game last season, tied with the Florida Panthers for the third-most in the NHL.
The Devils will open the season on Thursday against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center.
By Harrison Brown