It was the summer of 2011 and Ray Emery was at a crossroads in his career.

The goaltender had worked his way back from a devastating hip injury that threatened his livelihood and was fresh off helping the Ducks reach the playoffs with a late-season surge after their starter was injured. But he was without a contract with few suitors when Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman came calling in need of a backup for Corey Crawford.

"I had a discussion with him that summer and I asked him what he was looking to do," Bowman said.

As Bowman recalled, Emery wanted to get his career back on track. He believed he had played well for the Ducks and maybe surprised some people. He wanted an opportunity to prove himself.

"We were just trying to figure out the right guy because we didn't want to put Corey into a position where he had to play 70 games," Bowman added. "We needed a backup we thought could come in and play a fair amount."