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Crawford on signing his new deal, playing in Chicago and #50

05/19/2011 6:18 PM

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Shortly after the Blackhawks announced a new three-year contract with goaltender
Corey Crawford, he spoke with to answer questions submitted by fans on Facebook and Twitter.

How excited are you to have a new deal with the Blackhawks?
About as excited as I can be. I wanted to return to Chicago; obviously, it’s a great place to play hockey. I’ve known my teammates for a long time and they’re great guys, as is everyone else around the team. It’s one of the best places to be.

What’s one of the biggest things you want to improve for next season?
You always want to try and improve everything. I thought the last couple of years in the American Hockey League, my puck-handling was way better; I wasn’t trying to do too much this past season. I still will stay simple, but I’ll be a little more confident with that part of my game. Obviously, I also want to be quicker in the net, as well.

Who first inspired you to be a goalie?

When I was young I was a big Habs fan, so Patrick Roy was probably my biggest influence.

What’s the best lesson you leaned in your first NHL season?
Rest is important. There are so many games and it feels like they come and go so quickly. It’s important to be well-rested and be smart about that. That’s the biggest thing I’ve found. There’s not much time between games.

What do you see as the biggest challenge to the Hawks getting back into the playoffs next season?
I think every year is a challenge for every team, but for us, not coming back as the Stanley Cup champions, everyone won't be gunning for us every night. It’s a competitive league and every team wants to win, but our guys are going to be well-rested and very excited to start the season. After you don’t achieve your goal of winning the Cup, you come back wanting to be better and stronger next year.

Was it important to stay with the team that drafted you?
That was one part, but it wasn’t the main reason. There are a lot of other reasons first. My teammates were great, the fans are great to us and it makes coming hockey in Chicago so fun. The city of Chicago is a great place to live, too. Just all of those together made my decision.

Will you be keeping #50?
Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s going to stay.

Why did you choose that number?
I was actually given that number by the trainer, I can’t remember which year I switched. I had #40 before they switched. I just decided to keep it. I wore #29 in juniors.

After signing a deal like this and having it announced, how will you celebrate?
I don’t know. I’ll probably go to dinner with my friends and family, maybe have a barbeque and have them over. Something casual like that.

Has your phone been blowing up throughout the day?
Yeah, I’ve had people text me already. It’s pretty exciting to see them excited. It’s a good time; it’s a relief to get that done and just think about hockey now.