Out with the old and in with the reborn?
For Emery, this is his opportunity to continue to make good on a second chance in his goaltending life. Diagnosed with avascular necrosis in 2010 -- where blood stops flowing to the ball of the hip, thereby deteriorating the bone -- doctors told Emery that his hockey career was over. But that didn't stop Emery from working with a trainer to strengthen the surgically-repaired muscles in his core.
The same injury derailed Bo Jackson's NFL career in the early 1990s, but thanks to advancements in medical technology Emery held hope that he could make it all the back to the NHL.
In 10 games with the Anaheim Ducks last season, Emery posted an impressive 7-2-0 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save-percentage. He wasn't so lucky in the postseason when the Ducks were eliminated by the Nashville Predators, but it was just one small step in his comeback.
Emery's agent, J.P. Barry, told Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune that the Blackhawks could end up with the best second goal in the NHL. He'll have to beat out Alexander Salak for the No. 2 job who Chicago inked to a 2-year, one-way deal in May. If he does, Emery would provide a solid veteran presence should Crawford be hit with the sophomore jinx that's befallen many netminders before him.
Once the Blackhawks open camp, they'll have until Oct. 1 to make a decision whether or not to sign Emery. Barry indicated that Emery is looking for an NHL job and not a two-way deal from any team. Either way, the 29-year old Emery will not just have the Blackhawks looking at him; plenty of other NHL teams will be monitoring his progress in camp and will swoop in if he does end up getting released.
Photo credit: Getty Images
- Ray Emery