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Corey Crawford not bothered by Blackhawks’ pursuit of Martin Brodeur

After an up-and-down seas2011-12 Hawks goalie Corey Crawford says he is focused taking next step 2012-13. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

After an up-and-down season in 2011-12, Hawks goalie Corey Crawford says he is focused on taking the next step in 2012-13. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 23, 2012 10:55AM

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford isn’t going to play the blame game.

He’s not upset with the Hawks for making a play for future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur before Brodeur decided to re-sign with the New Jersey Devils.

Even if Crawford had produced the kind of sophomore season the Hawks were expecting from him in 2011-12, he wouldn’t have blamed them for flirting with the idea of bringing in Brodeur. He’s just not getting wrapped up in it.

‘‘Having a chance at [Brodeur], he’s a great goaltender,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘But at the same time, I can’t really focus on all that stuff. I’ve got to worry about what I’m doing and how I’m preparing myself for the season. All that other stuff, if you start listening to that, it’s just going to become a distraction.’’

Despite the Hawks’ flirtation with Brodeur and other rumors about his departure, Crawford is the team’s No. 1 goalie and said he is focused on preparing himself to take the next step.

Does the fact that the Hawks
entertained the idea of replacing him serve as motivation? Sure. But it’s not like the motivation wasn’t there before.

‘‘I want to do well, and I want to be the No. 1 guy here,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘No matter what happens outside of my situation, it doesn’t change what I’m doing.’’

It also apparently didn’t make for any awkward moments between him and general manager Stan Bowman, who said he had a pleasant conversation with Crawford on the first day of the convention Friday.

‘‘These guys are all professionals,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘I think it’s all about understanding that the job that we have is to try to look at the options to improve our team, just like their job is to focus on playing hockey and not to get distracted and worry about those kinds of things.’’

In other words, the Hawks want Crawford’s undivided attention. And he says they’ve got it.

So for the time being, Crawford’s focus is to build on what was a
decent finish to an admittedly up-and-down season.

‘‘I had some meetings at the end of the year, and obviously there’s some adjustments to be made,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘We made some [technical] adjustments at the end of the year that I think played out really well, and [we] finished pretty strong at the end of the year.’’

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