Has the battle for backup goaltender become more interesting?
ESPN.com reported that Ray Emery has been invited to training camp by the Blackhawks on a tryout basis. Emery, who started his comeback from a devastating hip injury with the Anaheim Ducks late last season, is hoping to play himself into the backup position behind Corey Crawford.
Since the Blackhawks let go of Marty Turco this off-season, it has been assumed that Alexander Salak, the goalie prospect picked up in the Frolik trade, would be Crawford’s backup. However, by inviting Emery to training camp, Stan Bowman is making sure that everyone at that camp knows that no job is guaranteed this year — not even in net. It’s also a low-risk gamble for everyone involved; no one is expecting Emery to be the starting goaltender (unlike in recent years, where the veteran free agent was expected to assume that mantle). If it works out, great — and if it doesn’t work, we have two goaltenders who are more than capable of handling things.
A goaltending situation in Chicago that isn’t a crisis? This is a strange and wonderful feeling!