Ray Emery was invited to the Blackhawks training camp, that means that the young goalie, Alexander Salak, is going to have to fight for his position as the Blackhawks’ backup. Both goalies are capable of doing the job, but which one should get the job?
Emery is a good goaltender. After hip surgery he went to the Ducks last year. In 9 games he was 7-2. During those nine games he won 6 in a row. He had a .897 during those 9 games. That’s pretty impressive, but it was only 9 games. I think he will have to prove himself a little in camp before they hand him the backup role. He is a good goalie that could be a good signing if the Blackhawks decide to sign him. They haven’t officially signed him, they invited him to camp. They can decide that they want Salak and get rid of Emery without paying a single cent. That is what makes this so great.
If Emery plays well, they can sign him. He can be the backup and Salak will get some more experience in the minor leagues. Emery won’t cost the Blackhawks very much money and they will have a capable goaltender. If Emery isn’t good in camp, they can make Salak the backup goaltender and owe no money to Emery. This is a win-win scenario for the Blackhawks.
Even if Emery doesn’t make the team, his presence in camp will push Salak and Crawford to work harder. That is another great thing about this scenario. In other words, inviting Emery to camp is one of the best things that Bowman has done this offseason. Of course the other moves have been great, but this was a great move goaltender wise.
My personal opinion is that as long as he isn’t awful in training camp, Emery will get the backup role. He has experience in the NHL and is a much safer option. This will give Salak a chance to develop in the minor leagues and not be forced to sit on the bench almost all year. The goaltending for the Blackhawks this coming season looks great no matter who the backup is. I really like this move by Stan Bowman. One of many great moves this summer.