Former NHL Goaltender Ray Emery Dead at Age 35
On Sunday, the hockey world lost former NHL goaltender Ray Emery at the age of 35. Emery appears to have drowned while swimming in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario while aboard a friend's boat at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. He decided to go for a swim around 6:30 AM local time and after diving in did not return to the surface. Just over eight hours later, Emery's body was recovered at 2:50 PM in close proximity to to where he was last seen according to Hamilton police.
Inspector Marty Schulenberg called the drowning incident a "case of misadventure." After first responders were initially unable to find the body, the dive unit was called in to assist and concerns for the dive team caused the search to take longer than anticipated. Schulenberg has said "Mr. Emery was taking a swim this morning and the circumstances around that are a part of the investigation. Those details remain to be uncovered by our investigators." A postmortem is expected to be performed today.
Emery's career in the NHL lasted 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks, and Chicago Blackhawks. He helped lead the Senators to a Stanley Cup Final during the 2006 season and won one in 2013 as a backup for the Blackhawks. After splitting time the next season with Martin Gerber in goal, the 2008 season was spent in the KHL for Emery before heading to the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2009 season. After an abdominal tear kept him out for some time, Emery had a brief return with Philly before suffering a hip injury that ended his season, he finished 16-11-1 for the Flyers that season.
In 2010, the Anahem Ducks inked Emery and he only saw ice time in 10 regular season games as well as six playoff games, he was a combined 9-5-0 that season before he was on the move again. This time he was headed to Chicago on a tryout contract and spent two seasons with the team. Those two seasons brought him a Stanley Cup title as a backup to Corey Crawford, an NHL-record 12 consecutive wins in goal during the 2013 season, and between him and Crawford they posted the best GAA in the league to earn the William M. Jennings Trophy.
A return to Philly would follow for the 2014 and 2015 seasons which saw him as the backup to Steve Mason for both seasons. In 2014, he started the first three games of the Flyers first round series versus the New York Rangers and went 1-2 before Mason replaced him as the starter following his injury. However, following the 2015 season he would never play in the NHL again. Emery had brief stints for the Ontario Reign and Toronto Marlies of the AHL in 2016 before being signed by the Flyers in April for the remainder of the season. His most memorable moment in the NHL came in February 2007 when he fought Buffalo Sabres goalie Martin Biron and forward Andrew Peters, a fight that was one of three fighting majors Emery had in his career.
While the circumstances around Emery's death are still unknown at this time, an outpouring of support has come from around the National Hockey League offering their condolences and remembering Emery as both a person and a player. Former teammates including James van Riemsdyk and Daniel Carcillo tweeted their love for Emery as well as the four franchises the goalie played for during his career. His time in the NHL will never be forgotten nor will his memory...Rest in Peace, Ray Emery.
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