New Jersey Devils goaltender Corey Crawford is taking an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons, the team announced Friday.
Coach Lindy Ruff didn't elaborate on Crawford's absence on Thursday, only to note that it was a personal day. Crawford's absence on Friday marked his third consecutive missed practice since the team opened training camp last week.
"We need to give him his space," Devils forward Travis Zajac said Thursday. "Obviously, no one knows himself better than he does, so obviously we want him to be part of this team, but I think going forward, he's got to make that decision. I think he can take all the time he needs. We want him here."
Crawford, who turned 36 last week, signed a two-year, $7.8-million contract with the Devils on Oct. 9, one day after New Jersey placed goaltender Cory Schneider on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.
Crawford highlighted his 13-season career in Chicago by helping the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015. He also captured the William M. Jennings Trophy in those seasons, sharing the honor with then-teammate Ray Emery in 2013 and with Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens in 2015.
Crawford posted a 16-20-3 record with one shutout, a 2.77 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 40 appearances last season. He was playing in the last season of a six-year, $36-million deal.
Crawford has a 260-162-53 mark with 26 shutouts, a 2.45 GAA and .918 SP in 488 career games since being selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft.
--Field Level Media