By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford announced his retirement Saturday, according to the NHL Players’ Association.

“‘Crow’ is not only one of the greatest goaltenders in Chicago Blackhawks franchise history but was also a pillar in our local community throughout his entire career,” the Blackhawks said in a release.

Crawford’s retirement comes less than three months after signing with the New Jersey Devils and less than a week before the start of the NHL season.

The 36-year-old goalie made the announcement Saturday after a week of speculation about his future. He did not practice this week. Devils coach Lindy Ruff said the decision was for personal reasons.

“I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living,” Crawford said in a statement. “I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire.”

Crawford said playing in the NHL was a childhood dream and he was proud to have been a part of winning two Stanley Cups.

He played for 10 NHL seasons and 488 regular-season games. He signed a two-year, a $7.8 million contract as a free agent with the Devils in October.

New Jersey opens its season at home Thursday against Boston. MacKenzie Blackwood returns as the Devils’ top goaltender.

Crawford was a second-round draft pick of the Blackhawks in 2003. He won 260 regular-season games and recorded a franchise-high 52 playoff wins, winning the Cup in 2012-13 and 2014-15.

Crawford made his NHL debut in 2006. He became Chicago’s starting goalie in 2010-11 when he also finished fourth in Calder Trophy voting, winning 33 games and posting four shutouts with a .917 save percentage. He earned his first William M. Jennings Trophy in 2012-13, together with teammate Ray Emery, for Chicago allowing the fewest goals thanks in part to his 1.94 goals-against average.

Crawford led Chicago to a tie with Montreal (Carey Price) for the fewest goals allowed in 2014-15, earning his second William M. Jennings Trophy. In the 2014-15 playoffs, Crawford helped lead the Blackhawks to another Stanley Cup victory thanks to his 13 wins and two shutouts. He set career-best marks in 2015-16 in wins (35) and shutouts (7) while finishing fifth in Vezina Trophy voting.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBS 2 Chicago Staff