In a move that should come as little surprise to anyone who’s followed the Ducks’ off-season goalie moves, Ray Emery will go to the Chicago Blackhawks’ training camp on a pro tryout.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray did not aggressively try to re-sign Emery after receiving assurances that Jonas Hiller’s recovery was on track. Murray instead signed Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers – a logical candidate to be the number three goalie – to a two-way contract.
If there was a surprise, it is that Emery was not pursued aggressively by any of the NHL’s 30 general managers after going 7-2-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average to help the Ducks make the playoffs as the Western Conference’s number four seed. After an injury relegated him to the bench in Game 1, Emery was the Ducks’ starter in the first-round series against Nashville, going 2-3 with a 3.19 GAA.
In Chicago, Emery can expect to battle rookie Alexander Salak in a race to back up starter Corey Crawford.
Emery’s time in Anaheim ought not be forgotten. It can be argued that the Ducks would not have grabbed the fourth seed without him (even if home-ice advantage failed to achieve the desired effect). The team was certainly grateful for his contribution, and Emery was likewise grateful for the opportunity to return to the NHL.
Would Emery have received a camp tryout in Chicago without first getting the chance to prove himself in Anaheim?
No one knows for sure.