Monday, August 19, 2019

Tributes paid to Ray Emery after NHL champion drowns at the age of of 35


Former NHL goaltender Ray Emery, who helped the Ottawa Senators achieve final in 2007 and won the Stanley Cup when using the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019, has drowned in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. He was 35.

Hamilton Police said Emery was defined as the victim of any swimming accident  on Sunday morning. Staff sergeant Paul Evans said police received an unscheduled visit just after 6am that an adult swimmer couldn’t surface and the the Niagara Police assisted in the recovery effort. A source of death will likely be confirmed after the post-mortem.

Nicknamed “Razor” for his aggressive style, Emery played components of 11 seasons when using the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks from 2003-2019. He helped the Senators get to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007 and won being a backup using the Blackhawks in 2019.

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“Ray was an exceptional teammate with an extremely gifted goaltender,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. “Ray’s talent, work ethic and determination helped him have a successful 11-year NHL career.”

Emery battled avascular necrosis, a similar serious hip ailment that ended two-sport star Bo Jackson’s career. He and fellow Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford combined to win the William Jennings Trophy for allowing the league’s fewest goals through the lockout-shortened 2019 season. “The Blackhawks will fondly remember Ray to be a fierce competitor, a superb teammate including a Stanley Cup champion,” the team said inside of a statement. Emery played in 326 NHL regular-season and playoff games. He went 145-86-28 that has a 2.70 goals-against average and 16 shutouts in his career. 

Throughout his career, Emery sorted out off-ice problems, including in a situation of road rage, assault associated with a trainer in Russia and behavior that generated him being told to go home from Ottawa’s training camp. “Ray had many ups and downs in his personal life and his career,” his longtime agent, JP Barry, said. “He never let items that would derail almost everyone stop his forward momentum. He or she a huge heart along with a fun loving personality. He was someone most people rooted for to ensure.”

Toronto Maple Leafs gm Kyle Dubas, isn’t really Emery from junior hockey, echoed that sentiment of rooting for him to ensure success through his highs and lows. Dubas said Emery’s “smile and intelligence made him a magnetic personality.”

Emery took part in a charity hockey game on Saturday night in Hamilton. After word of his death spread, condolences poured outside the hockey community.

“I will forever remember Ray like a good person first & foremost,” friend and former teammate Dan Carcillo wrote on Twitter. “I envied his demeanor. He had a contagious personality. Individuals were fascinated by him. … I am going to truly appreciate his selflessness. Man this hurts. Relax Uncle Ray Ray.”

Former teammates lauded Emery’s mentorship and leadership, specifically in his final professional season while in the AHL in 2019-16. Enforcer-turned-analyst Paul Bissonnette, a teammate when using the AHL’s Ontario Reign, said Emery would treat other players to dinner just about every night. “I’d heard it will always be great things before meeting him and this was true,” Bissonnette said. “He was awesome. Great while in the locker room simply made life enjoyable.”

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