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Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks Have Tough Decision to Make in Goal

What will the Chicago Blackhawks do about their questions in net. Both tenders are playing well but both are free agents. Who does the team keep and who does the team trade?

The Chicago Blackhawks are getting a lot of press these days, mostly for their dilemma at the goaltender position.

During the off-season, the Blackhawks went out and signed free agent Robin Lehner on a one-year deal worth some pretty good money. The deal was kind of a ‘show me’ contract which Lehner has lived up to and prety much stolen the starting gig from former starter Corey Crawford.

Meanwhile, Crawford has had an opportunity to get back into the net these past few games and played quite well. Both are free agents at the end of the season and both are set to make some pretty good money on the open market.

According to Bob Mckenzie of TSN, the Blackhawks are still trying to determine which direction to go. Either they re-sign Lehner to a long-term deal or Corey Crawford gets the crease back. If it’s the latter, a trade that would include Lehner could follow knowing he’s likely to leave the Blackhawks organization in the summer and Chicago gets no assets in return,

McKenzie explained it on Insider Trading on TSN that Lehner has said he’s not willing to offer a hometown discount to retain his services. He wants a long-term deal (likely starting with a six or higher). Meanwhile, Crawford publicly said recently ‘I don’t want to be anybody’s backup’ and he’s also had a good year now that he’s been healthy. That’s a dilemma for GM Stan Bowman.

Related: Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins Make Minor Trade

What Should the Blackhawks Do?

Will Bowman trade one of these guys? If so, who? Will he sign one right away? Again, if so, who?

Perhaps he can’t get both to agree to a number the Blackhawks are comfortable with. Does that mean the team might start over in net and find a free agent this summer. If so, what does that mean prior to the deadline?

McKenzie said, “I would imagine in the days and weeks ahead they will get down to brass tacks in terms of talking contract to both guys to see what the expectations are and how that decision is going to go before the deadline.”

Should the team decide Lehner is too rich for their blood or the return is higher by moving him, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes Lehner will land with his a third team in the past two seasons. LeBrun believes he knows a team that will have interest.

“If and when Robin Lehner becomes available by the way, keep an eye on Carolina. They tried to sign him last summer and I think they’d like to add more insurance in goal. That’s a guy they have on their list.”

Related: Sabres GM: “We Want To Make Trades”

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