Originally written March 10, 2012 on centericechat.com:
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The Chicago Blackhawks may have their goalie dilemma finally figured out. After Friday’s thrilling 4-3 win over the Eastern Conference’s best New York Rangers, Ray Emery is looking pretty good as a No. 1 goalie. Should the Blackhawks pursue to re-sign him during the offseason? Ray Emery will give the Chicago Blackhawks something to consider this summer with the way he's been playing lately. Should he stay or should he go? Emery came cheap last summer, to the tune of $600,000. Emery improved to 15-9-2 on the season after Friday’s win against the visiting Rangers, and holds a steady 2.69 GAA and a .905 save percentage. But most importantly, he’s been getting the bulk of the nods from coach Joel Quenneville, over Corey Crawford. Would it be more in the Blackhawks’ interest, or in Emery’s favour for the two parties to continue for, let’s say, a one-year extension, at least? A guy like Emery obviously has two motives: Become a No. 1 starter again, and earn more money. GM Stan Bowman will have to decide if Emery deserves to be a No. 1, or to consider Emery and Crawford as interchangeable and an affective tandem. Emery will without a doubt eye a contract worth over $1 million a year. He may deserve it, and get that on the Blackhawks. He may get more, and an opportunity elsewhere, however, if he goes elsewhere. Places like Edmonton or Toronto, for example may need a new No. 2 or a No. 1 even. And there may be a sensitive for Emery to explore other teams where he can have a firmer grip of a No. 1 spot. Although, for now, it looks like Emery is convincing enough folks that he can hold his own in the crease, while Crawford continues to sit on the side. Will the Blackhawks accept their more expensive Crawford as a backup, though? They may have to. But more importantly, it’d be nice to see a goalie tandem in Chicago have back-to-back years. Maybe Crawford and Emery can go on to be one of the league’s best duos. A big maybe, but not entirely impossible.   Matthew Wilson is editor of Center Ice Chat. Follow him on Twitter @Mattjw24. Be sure to also Like us on Facebook and to Follow our Tumblr page. If you'd like to contribute, or appear as a guest columnist, please email us at CenterIceChat@gmail.com.
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