Devils' Corey Crawford taking leave of absence for personal reasons

Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has signed with the New Jersey Devils. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

New Jersey Devils goaltender Corey Crawford is taking an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons, the team announced on Friday.

Crawford has been absent from training camp since Jan. 2 after participating in the first two practices on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Devils forward Travis Zajac said that they are giving the goaltender the space he needs to deal with a personal matter.

"We need to give him his space," Devils forward Travis Zajac told "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."

Kyle Palmieri said he was able to speak with Crawford earlier in the week to show support for his new teammate.

"I reached out to him; I think it was Sunday or Monday," Palmieri said. "You want to give him his space ... it's a personal issue for him and his family, what they're going through. We've gotten to know 'Crow' a little bit over the first couple days. I think you're there to support him as a teammate and as a guy who, obviously I have a ton of respect for, for what he's done in his career."

Crawford signed a two-year, $7.8-million contract with New Jersey in October after spending 13 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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