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