Blackhawks Trade Speculation: It’s Time To Move Ray Emery

With all due respect to Jay-Z, the Blackhawks have 99 problems and, considering the streak they’re on, the b**** might be one of them.

But with all of the issues plaguing the team right now, should they consider putting one of their goalies on the market? Now might be the right time to move Ray Emery.

This fact has become clear: the Blackhawks do not have a number one goalie on their roster.

Emery certainly shut up those that questioned him during the preseason with a stretch of strong play in December, but he’s been just as mediocre as Corey Crawford.

It’s worth noting that in early November,’s Brian Hedger tweeted that a source told him the Hawks were keeping Emery around as trade bait.

I was in Rockford last night to see Alexander Salak’s first start after missing significant action with a lower-body injury. The IceHogs won the game 2-1, and Salak looked great. In fact, he looked a lot like the guy that many (including me) thought had won the back-up job behind Crawford during training camp.

What Salak brings to the table in intriguing from a number of perspectives.

First, like Emery but unlike Crawford, Salak is a feisty netminder. Last night there were a couple if instances where Salak showed a lot of emotion, including barking at a ref after the Wolves scored a questionable goal (whistle should have blown well before the score). After the eruption, which included throwing the puck across the rink, Salak didn’t allow another goal.

A goaltender that responds well to a negative moment in a game? What a novel concept!

In fact, at one point Salak got into the mix while the skaters were exchanging words behind the net. Salak grabbed one of the Wolves by the collar and jerked him away from the pack, and appeared to offer a fight if the Chicago player wanted to dance. His request was denied, but that emotion was noticeable.

Second, unlike Emery, he’s under contract after this season. At this point in the season, we should all be comfortable with saying Emery and Crawford are known commodities, and neither is getting the job done.

Could it be worse? Sure.

But could it get better? Absolutely.

And with Salak being around next season, why not give him a shot?

One other intriguing reality is that there are a number of teams in the market for a goalie right now, but many of them don’t want to add a long-term commitment if possible because of the potential to make a run at a free agent like Josh Harding, Johan Hedberg and even restricted Cory Schneider this summer. Emery’s one-year deal is ideal.

For a team desperate for an improvement, like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Emery might be worth taking on for the rest of the season. And if the Lightning had interest in moving some salary off the books, perhaps in the form of defenseman Pavel Kubina ($3.85M cap hit), a swap for an improvement between the pipes might provide two pieces in a potential deal.

Salak has only started one game after injury, and wasn’t spectacular early in the season, so the organization likely wants to see a couple more quality starts from him before considering this proposed course of action. But as the deadline gets closer and teams look more desperate for a goalie, Emery might become a commodity with enough value that the Hawks would be foolish not to explore moving him.

22 thoughts on “Blackhawks Trade Speculation: It’s Time To Move Ray Emery

  • February 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I agree to some extent but also think that if any goalie is getting moved it shouldn’t be Emery right now, especially with the Hawks themselves in such dire need for help between the pipes.

  • February 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Do it. The goaltending situation can’t really get worse at this point. You have time to audition Salak for this year’s playoffs, and if it doesn’t work out, you throw a first-rounder at the Islanders by the deadline to get Nabokov.

  • February 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Don’t waste a pick on anyone, this year. Trade Emery, then let Salak come up and do whatever he can. If we get into the playoffs and he does well, great. If we don’t get into the playoffs, we still need to see if Salak can play at the NHL level. We won’t get much for Emery, but we need to see what Salak has to offer.

    Crawford is not now and never has been a number one goalie. He would be an excellent #2 goalie at the NHL level or even a #1 at the AHL level. He doesn’t move well side to side and for some reason, he looks very “clumsy” in the net. Of course, it could be because his confidence is shot due to a horrible playing team and some questionable coaching moves. Crawford was playing decently until that bad bouncing goal in Nashville. Now, he fights off everything shot at him and can’t seem to track pucks very well.

  • February 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Quenneville benched Stalberg for the rest of the game after Stalberg turned the puck over in the 2nd period last night. Yet another reason why this is Quenville’s mess — and why we need a new, better coach in here.

    Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen until this joke of a team starts affecting the Hawks bottom line by reduced revenues.

    I have a stat that I produce that ranks players according to: ((Points + Plus/Minus + Hits) / Games Played). It shows me who plays a total game which, on this team, is like looking for a Democrat in Mississippi. You have to look hard. Seabrook leads the team in this stat. Stalberg is 9th, three spots behind Hossa and one spot *in front* of Toews who is 10th.

    Frolik, Kruger and Brunette are 23rd, 25th and 26th on this list with only Ben Smith and newcomer Morrison below them, yet these guys play shift after shift after shift while this team disappears in the standings. Meanwhile, Q punishes Stalberg, his 5th best scorer (31 points), his fastest skater, one of his biggest forwards (6″3″), and the guy with the 4th most hits on the team (57).

    Stupid. Stunningly stupid.

    Good bye, Quenville, and good riddance.

  • February 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    We can’t overpay at the deadline for another retread on his last legs. If we can get somebody good in their prime fine. Otherwise bring up the kids and see what happens. If we don’t make the playoffs so be it. Keep drafting, bringing up younger players and use the cap space to sign somebody good in their prime. No more over the hill players on their last stop before retirement.

  • February 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Canes Dad…when Stalberg turned over that puck I blew a gasket. I was screaming at the tv because they had a clinic on this stuff for their practices. They practiced and practiced the basics and one of the things they were trying to drill in was not to turn any more pucks over at the blue line. They wanted this to stop. What did Stalberg do? He turned it over at the blueline!!

    Then San Jose scored and I was screaming more at that ****head for killing all our momentum as Chicago had dominating the second period to that point and came back to tie it after being behind 2-0 in the game. Nothing like sucking out the steam of the players like Stalberg’s play.

    In other words…good on Coach Q. What Stalberg did showed he wasn’t listening to well and deserved to be benched.

  • February 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    …and who fails to clear the puck out of the zone just now against Phoenix’ first goal?

    Why its Victor Stalberg! LOL

  • February 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    There are a lot of leeks to fill but we can’t go anywhere without a strong goalie. Its one thing if a defenseman like Nick Leddy or a forward ala Patrick Kane is having an off night but when its the goalie, night after night that ill-confidence spreads faster than ever. Never would have thought but the way we’re playing and the way some of these Hogs have invigorated the team over the season (Shaw/Hayes/Olsen of late), maybe its worth a look.

  • February 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    And we’re down 2 after 1. Let’s teach Stalberg a lesson and bench him again. We can always double shift Frolik.

    We sure don’t want anyone messing with Q’s system while he is working on an 8 game losing streak. If this is good coaching, with this team loaded with talent and 10th in the league in team payroll, , I don’t see it.

  • February 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve been doing my best to stay positive during this long losing stretch. But I just don’t seem able to come up with anything positive to say anymore. I’m pretty much done watching a group of guys who don’t want to compete don the best logo in professional sport.

    Every single guy in that locker room should be ashamed.

  • February 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I’m sick of watching good to great goalie pass thru the Hawks. I waited 49 yrs. to see the Lord Stanley’s Cup come home I ain”t got another 49 to wait

  • February 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    and the almighty Kane WHIFFS from 15 feet- point blank range…

    look at the positive Hollywood Kane- that will not go against your pathetic shot %!!!!

    I guess I was wrong all along… Kane is untradeable- not because he is a Chicago sports hero- but because any GM’s watching wouldn’t give up anything of value to get him.

  • February 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I think it is a good idea Tab…if we could get Kubina by trading Emery and another piece, I would be in favour of that. I have always thought highly of Salak’s play.

  • February 12, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Agree completely with Canes Dad. Q sucks — he is such a bore . Has lst the team .

    Also agree that Stalberg is a space cadet . He is fast and has a good shot, but cannot control the puck ; doesn’t understand what’s going on when he Is on the ice and is a major defensive liability .
    When will Kane realize that for $6M a year he has to do more than shoot and skate in circles .

    This team is finished.

  • February 12, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Come on kids…………the real issue in all of this was keeping Hjalmerson and letting Niemi get away. Not a bright move there and the source of all our woes. If we had paid Niemi we’d have more cap room for a quality defenseman just as good as anybody that we currently have.

  • February 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

    We need a new coach! Hawks was the best team one month ago. Nobody left team, everybody healthy, something happens in dressing room…….

  • February 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I do believe that the Hawks primary reason for bringing Emery in was for trade value. However, no one saw the implosion of Crawford and Emery was forced into action. Not only was he forced into action, he did play well. So now the Hawks have to ask themselves a couple of questions: 1. If you trade Emery does the combo of Crawford and Salak make you better? 2. As a team are you prepared to writeoff this season? What I mean is that while keeping Emery guarantees nothing, neither does trading him and banking on inconsistent Crawford or unproven Salak. 3. Maybe the Hawks should be looking to move Crawford?

  • February 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    All you chicken littles out there can quit your quacking. Yes this has been extremely tough to watch, and even tougher for the players to play through. They are putting so much pressure on themselves to snap out of this to the point where they are only compounding the issue. We wanted to get more physical – we didn’t. Toews is getting beat up, game in and game out, and a guy like like Sharp has to step in (mayers would if he skated on that line, but…). Fear not! Team metal is tested this way, and these guys are will pull through. Alot of teams very close in the standings, and schedule is very tough the rest of the way, but they rattle off a nice couple of Ws or go on a 8 game win streak and they’ll go to the dance…..and that is where we will HEAR THE ROAR!

  • February 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I can not believe that people are honestly wanting the Blackhawks to get rid of Coach Q. He has come in here and put together winning hockey for the past 4 years. Coach Q is like Ditka in Chicago and will always be until he retires.

  • February 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    The great thing about the Stanley Cup winning team was that they could play the game anyway you wanted to play it. You wanna try to skate with us? No way, you’ll make a mistake and turn it over at our blue line and we’ll take an odd man break and score on you. You wanna try puck control? We’ll throw out Andrew Ladd, Burish and Kopecky and pound you into the boards. You wanna play dump and chase? Brian Campbell has the puck on his stick and is skating OUT of the zone as you are coming over our blue line.

    This year, our only forward body checker is Mayers and he can’t do it by himself. Our speed is suspect because of our off season signings. We have become a one dimensional team that is very easy to defend. We have become a “common” team. We need to become an “uncommon” team.

  • February 14, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I think the hawks have three main issues.

    1. Poor coaching. Special teams suck on both end.
    2. Poor goal tending. Trade Crawford.
    3. Play the wrong guys too much.
    Some guys are terrible. Burnette and Bickel can’t skate, Frolick gets too many stupid penalties, Morrison is no answer.
    Play Jamal Mayers more! At least Shaw and Hayes hustle and Hayes has size in front of the net. My lines would be:
    Shaw, Toews,kane Sharp,Bolland,Hossa Stalberg,Myers,Hayes Fourth line Bickell, Kruger and Frolick. Burnette and Morrison would be cut.
    Try to trade for Lennart Petrell from Edmenton for a defensive 3rd liner. How about going for a goalie from Minnesota. Hacket is young, cheap and #3 and 2-0.

  • February 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I havnt mentioned anything since before the losing streak started, so I will for good luck…

    We should trade Emery, he hasnt really been better than Crow enough to keep. Especially if we wernt going to keep him past this year anyways. Some teams need goalie and even though hes not great, hes good. We need a def. for this year and with way less trades going to hapen then everyone originaly thought he should be able to get us that Kubina guy w whatever else/pick.

    I agree with everyone on older players, we only want prime years (longterm). If we cant get any, then just take Kubina for now and get the prime-years player at FA, Suter/anyone good. Emery would be a great trade because even though were buyers, we have something others want…

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