Blackhawks

Emery looking to show Hawks what he can do

536158.jpg

Emery looking to show Hawks what he can do

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
Posted: 6:16 p.m.

By TraceyMyers
CSNChicago.com BlackhawksInsiderFollow @TraMyersCSNRay Emery is a hopeful guy entering the Blackhawks training camp next weekend. Hes getting a chance at a backup goaltending spot, another chance at continuing his career.

Im excited that Im with a good young team that I could contribute to, he said Saturday, where he was with other Blackhawks for their day at U.S. Cellular Field. I just want to do well and show I can help them win a few games this year.

Emery spent enough time doubting things in 2010. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a degenerative disease that deteriorated 90 percent of his hip joint; it couldve led to a collapsed hip and hip replacement. Even with the bone graft surgery to fix it in the spring of 10, he said there was perhaps a 60 percent success rate.

Rehab, time on crutches, a return with the Anaheim Ducks, Emery went through it all. But he got through it all, too, and now hopes his hockey renaissance can continue in a Blackhawks uniform.

There were a lot of ifs and hoping and wondering, Emery said of the ordel. But everything went in my favor and I was able to get back pretty quickly. Im pretty happy with the way it all went.

Last summer Emery was on crutches. This time hes getting ready for the season. Hes doing some of what he did during his rehabilitation, range-of-motion work as well as his normal routine. He said hes also been skating the past three weeks.

Emery will be competing with Alexander Salak, a young Czech netminder who the Blackhawks acquired along with Michael Frolik from the Florida Panthers. Emerys been here before and obviously has the veteran NHL background that Salak lacks. But it ultimately comes down to two weeks of training camp and who shines above the other.

Emery has dealt with the doubts about his health. Now hes ready to show how confident he is in his game.

Even after (last season) finished I took a month off and felt a lot of improvement in my hip where I had the operation. I slowly but surely realized I wasnt thinking about my injury. I was just able to concentrate on playing hockey. I wasnt able to do that last year, he said. Im excited. I feel pretty good.
Mourning friends
The plane crash that killed a majority of the Lokomotiv (KHL) hockey team early this week touched many NHL players. That includes Emery, who lost four former teammates in the crash. He played with Karel Rachunek in Ottawa and lived with Josef Vasicek when they were both in juniors.

I just couldnt imagine what it was like for families back home, having that empty feeling when you lose someone like that, said Emery, who had played one season in the KHL with Atlant Moscow. It was an awful day.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Anthem singer Wayne Messmer talks 1991 NHL All-Star Game rendition

Anthem singer Wayne Messmer talks 1991 NHL All-Star Game rendition

Wayne Messmer, the National Anthem singer from the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, chatted with NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks Talk podcast about one of the most iconic moments in Chicago sports history.

On January 19, 1991 the NHL All-Star Game was at Chicago Stadium. The celebration of the league's best players commenced just two days after Operation Desert Storm began the Gulf War. 

Messmer has sung the National Anthem around Chicago for 30 years and was the Blackhawks anthem singer for 13. 

He notes the tradition of Hawks fans cheering the anthem began ahead of a 1985 playoff contest with Chicago down 2-0 in the series to the Edmonton Oilers.

"It had been a little noisy when Hawks had played Vancouver," Messmer said. "Perhaps the year before or even in '83, but it was really games 3 and 4 of that series, the Conference Finals against Gretzky and the gang from Edmonton, where it began."

Messmer believed the '91 All-Star anthem was the hockey universe's introduction to Chicago's way of enjoying the Star Spangled Banner.

"Yeah, for sure," he said. "Because it was a few weeks earlier there was a game on that was televised nationally from the stadium and the decision was, 'Do not carry the anthem.' There was kind of a pushback, especially from the fans. 

"So when they announced NBC was going to cover both anthems, it was like a challenge to the fans, 'Let's show them how it's done here.' And the signs and the flares and the sparklers and all of that, it was Twilight Zone surreal. You had to pinch yourself because it was really happening.

"And trying to get through that as a vocalist isn't easy because you got a huge, emotional lump in your throat. You want to be a part of that, but you're the guy that's got to light the wick."

The singer was able to take in the moment despite his monumental duty that day.

"I was certainly soaking it in," Messmer said. "I've always, as I will describe it, 'lived life with my eyes open.' But, I will tell you, it took enormous concentration. And I'm not saying, 'Hey, how swell I am,' but it's a technique of concentrating on technique, on breathing, on supporting and not shouting, not screaming and not trying to get louder because the crowd is getting louder." 

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device. 

Patrick Kane views booing in St. Louis as 'a sign of respect'

Patrick Kane views booing in St. Louis as 'a sign of respect'

ST. LOUIS — Of the 11 NHL All-Stars from the Central Division this season, four of them are Blues: Jordan Binnington, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo. And deservedly so.

The other seven were all booed by Blues fans on Friday, but none were louder than the ones Patrick Kane drew.

Kane steps on the ice for warmups? Boos.

Kane’s name announced as a Central Division representative? Boos.

Kane touches the puck for one of the skills challenges? Boos.

Heck, even during Thursday’s media session when seven other skaters were talking at the same time as Kane, he was interrupted by boos.

So when the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star won the Shooting Stars challenge at the Skills Competition on Friday, Blues fans weren’t afraid to show how they felt about it. It didn’t help that it was the final event of the night, either.

After the competition, Kane was asked about the crowd reception in St. Louis. And he responded in terrific fashion.

"The boys were asking me why I was getting booed," Kane said. "And I said I shouldn't have scored those overtime playoff goals against them and maybe they wouldn't have booed me."

Over the last decade, Kane helped lead the Blackhawks to nine consecutive playoff appearances, five Conference Finals and three Stanley Cup runs. He was a thorn in the side of every Central Division team over that span, including the Blues.

In 64 career games against the Blues, Kane has 25 goals and 38 assists for 63 points. He also has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 13 postseasons contests, with two of those goals being game winners.

As they say, fans don’t boo nobodies.

"I remember me and my dad, we went to watch the Flyers and Sabres fans were booing [Eric] Lindros the whole game," Kane recalled. "I think he got kicked out with like 10 minutes left in the game or something, and then the game was no fun anymore because there was no one left to boo or watch. 

“You kind of view it as, obviously it’s somewhat a sign of hatred, but somewhat a sign of respect too. It’s fun when you play in Nashville or Winnipeg or places like that, and you hold onto the puck and they’re booing you and you want to hold onto it longer. [Duncan Keith] get booed in Vancouver, which is always pretty funny to see him up his game a little bit and hold onto the puck as well. It’s somewhat a sign of respect.”

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.