Emery would 'love' to return to Hawks

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery and general manager Stan Bowman left open the possibility Thursday of Emery returning to the team next season.

Emery will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5. He made $1.15 million in 2013. He has been with the Blackhawks since 2011.

The 30-year-old Emery and goaltender Corey Crawford shared this season the William M. Jennings Trophy, which is given to the goaltenders on the team with the fewest goals allowed during the regular season. Emery was 17-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA and a .922 save percentage in the regular season, and he did not play in the playoffs.

"I'd love to stay here," Emery said at the United Center on Thursday. "See how that works out with what Chicago has in mind and see how the cards kind of play, but definitely would like to stay here."

The Blackhawks recently signed 24-year-old goaltender Antti Raanta to a one-year contract, and it was assumed he could be Crawford's backup next season. Raanta had a 21-10-11 record with five shutouts, a 1.85 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage in Finland this past season.

Bowman said Thursday that Raanta's signing has nothing to do with whether Emery returns next season.

"No, they don't necessarily play into each other," Bowman said. "I think we looked at signing [Raanta] as a move for the future. He's a young guy. He's 24 years old and hopefully he can adjust to North America quickly. Sometimes that takes a little bit of time, so we're not trying to rush him into anything. You know, obviously hockey is hockey, but the size of the rink is smaller over here, the style of play is a little bit different, so as a goaltender that can take some time. So, we want to allow for that transition, and if it happens quickly, that's great. But they're not necessarily related to one another."

Emery said he hasn't had any discussions with the Blackhawks yet.