You know we’re in Ottawa when the local sports media churns out yet another story about former Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery and his ongoing driving problems. It’s like a never ending surplus of terrible reporting. And of all the stories to write about – the NHL two weeks away from the Stanley Cup playoffs, or the Ottawa Senators remarkable turnaround (to name a few), Ray’s H2 Hummer apparently trumps all.
One year after his exile from Ottawa and after a full season in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Emery finished with a 22-8-0 record, 2.12 goals against average, and a .920 save percentage. You can probably add a KO to his stats following that bench scuffle with the Russian trainer who tried to make Ray wear a hat in January.
Ray Emery’s dominance in the KHL will likely garner him considerable attention this summer from NHL teams with goaltending needs and little cap room. But despite Ray’s strong performance in the KHL, he’ll be viewed as a risk and any deals offered to him will reflect that.
Stayclassy.net believes the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers and would all be good fits for the young goaltender.
Simply put, Toronto, Detroit and Atlanta have some cap room, no number one goalie and inconsistent play from their current starters. That said, the Colorado Avalanche would be, by far, the best fit for Ray Emery.
In the 2008-2009 NHL season, Colorado spent $1.5 Million on goaltending. It shows, as they are among the NHL’s worst in average goals against per game, using Andrew Raycroft and Peter Budaj. Both are yet to be resigned, with Raycroft to be an UFA and Budaj to be a RFA come July 1st. Most of Colorado’s skaters are signed for next season, with the exception of star center Joe Sakic, so a reasonable contract for Emery would fit Colorado’s 2009-2010 salary cap.
Emery would mark the Av’s first goalie with Stanley Cup Final experience since Patrick Roy. Not surprisingly, he’d also be the best goalie Colorado’s seen since Roy’s retirement. Emery would fit well in Denver because of low hockey profiles and local speed laws, as Ray’s well documented speeding issues are the cause of various accidents and reasons for frequent pull-overs throughout the years.
Colorado is regarded as having more than reasonable driving regulations – ideal for Emery. In November 2008, the I-25, a major highway running through Colorado, increased speed limits to 65 MPH. A number of other highways and freeways are experimenting with heightened speed limits to help traffic conjestion. Most Colorado speed limits have slack of 5-10 MPH – a good thing for Ray considering how little (if any) he gets in Ottawa now. Police in Colorado wouldn’t have 24/7 tracking on Emery’s white Hummer, as Ottawa police do and finally, Ray is well versed in any seasonal driving challenges Colorado would offer, having lived in Ottawa for a few years.
So I ask the question, would signing Ray Emery as a goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche be any more of a risk than resigning Peter Budaj and Andrew Raycroft?
Stay classy, Ray Emery.