Agree 100% with the strategy, and why I thought the backup position was Emery's to lose as well. In the eye test Salak wins, and while you want to be able to pick the better goalie, you really do need to have insurance.
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This is what I've been saying since the 'Hawks brought him in, the back-up job was going to go to Emery unless he came in and completely shit the bed which he didn't. You mention the possibility of an injury to Crawford, knock on wood that doesn't happen but it's absolutely a contingency that must be planned for. Another angle to think about is trade bait - if Stephane Waite can get Emery back to playing like himself, and I have no doubt that he can, then sometime between mid-to-late December and the trade deadline there will be a handful of teams with playoff aspirations being hindered by goalie issues of their own who will be willing to overpay for a guy who's talented and, at $600K, very cheap. LaBarbera and Smith not cutting it in Phoenix? Emery for Doan. Mikka Kiprusoff showing his age? Emery for Iginla. Martin Brodeur reminding everyone that he's pretty old and is only "elite" when playing behind an elite trap system? Emery for Parise. I'm not saying that any of these 1-for-1 examples will actually happen (especially Parise, that's a complete pipe dream obviously) but the point is that there will almost certainly be someone that's willing to overpay for Emery's service because they believe that goaltending is the one piece of the puzzle keeping them from getting over that last hurdle. Maybe the 'Hawks pull the trigger on a deal, maybe they don't, but Emery at least gives the 'Hawks that option whereas had the 'Hawks decided to not sign Emery after his tryout and keep Salak as the back-up the complete lack of depth in the system behind him would make moving Salak in a similar fashion completely impossible.