[Editor's Note: This question was prepared in advance of Pierre LeBrun's breaking news that Emery's signing with Anaheim is pending.]
"I talked to the doctors and they think it’s more tiredness." - Jonas Hiller to the OC Register when asked if he thought he might be experiencing concussion-like symptoms.
Daniel, a little over two weeks after you and I agreed that this year would be the year that Jonas Hiller proved himself up to the task of being a workhorse goaltender in the NHL schedule, the goalie is now down with fatigue.
It may be nothing; it may be a sign that Hiller needs his starts more closely managed. McElhinney was good this afternoon, but Daniel, in light of recent developments, are you in support of the Ducks ongoing talks with Ray Emery?
I want the Ducks to sign Emery, but I have to say that they shouldn't. Let me preface this by saying that I think Emery is an upgrade over McElhinney and would provide phenomenal security down the stretch. He'll be anxious to prove his value and will steal games for whomever signs him. The attitude problems that assailed him in Ottawa weren't an issue in Philadelphia. Considering how hard it is to get help via trades when the Conference is packed so tightly, getting a free agent is ideal.
However, I just can't envision a scenario where we see real effects for either us or the Syracuse Crunch. First, I think that in order to guarantee Emery comes to Anaheim, we have to sign him to a one way deal. That means he can only spend two weeks on a conditioning assignment before he has to be called up. Even if he can get into NHL game shape in two weeks, and that's a HUGE 'if,' McElhinney is also on a one way deal. In that scenario, McElhinney has to clear waivers to get to Syracuse. I'm pretty sure that won't happen. Not when DiPietro just went down for 4-6 weeks and Garth Snow has already shown he'll work the waiver wire. Therefore there's no long term relief heading to Syracuse.
On the other hand, if the Ducks get Emery to sign a two way deal in order to give the club a little flexibility, then Ray has to clear waivers before joining the club. I can't see that happening. Of course, if he did, there would still be no way to keep McElhinney. In the end, Emery might be a good upgrade, but it will cost us McElhinney, and that's a big gamble if Emery can't be 100% down the stretch.
I have to say I support the idea of a Hiller/Emery tandem. During the Allaire Era in Anaheim, the Ducks were spoiled with goaltending depth, and that always meant two guys that could get it done. Was it always two guys of the caliber of Jiggy and Bryzgalov/Hiller? No, but you had two guys on par with one another, regardless.
There's something to be said for the argument that it does very little for us to acquire a question mark goaltender in hopes of creating an exclamation point tandem. But there's something to be said for Emery's experience, and I have to agree with Murray in theory here, that theory being that we currently don't have options if HIller or McElhinney go down.
I do see McElhinney as a problem, but maybe it's an opportunity to trade him for a two-way goaltender that will give us the proper depth we haven't yet found with Pielmeier. If we can potentially add a quality NHL starter, and instead of losing a player, we simply convert a player into a trade asset, then it seems like McElhinney becomes 'one of them good problems.'