Another Tough Guy... In Goal?

Will Ray Emery soon wear a Flyers jersey? This is the question all Flyers fans are asking themselves recently. What we really need to be asking ourselves is…Are we ready to take the risk? The 6’2”, 202lbs. goaltender has many aspects about him that would raise eyebrows in other cities. However, in the city where Ron Hextall is still worshiped, one would think Philadelphians would welcome the gamble. Although our passionate city loves a good fight, the NHL is far from similar to when Hextall graced the ice. We led the league in penalty minutes this past season, which had less than desirable results attached to it. With such tough guys as: Asham, Cote and Carcillo out on the ice for us, can we afford for our goalie to receive penalties as well?

Razor (Emery’s nickname) has had many problems with his temper in the past as well as issues off the ice. No one can forget when Emery unleashed on Martin Biron and Andrew Peters during the ’06-’07 season. He was also suspended for three games in ’07 for smacking Maxim Lapierre in his face with a stick. Unfortunately, he does not only take his anger out on opposing teams. There are numerous reports of Emery starting verbal and physical altercations on his own teams. Philly has already been through those shenanigans with T.O. and the Eagles, can we handle a second round on the ice?

After Ottawa bought out the remainder of Emery’s contract (2008) and he was basically blacklisted from the NHL, he was signed to a $2 million deal as the Atlant Moscow’s goalie in the KHL. Razor was actually pretty solid this past season. He went 22-8 in the games that he played. His save percentage was .926 and had a respectable 2.12 GAA. “He was arguably the top goalie in that league.” stated J.P. Barry (Emery’s agent). Philly has no doubts about his talent, but we are skeptical about his behavior.

Of course, Holmgren is being as vague as possible when it comes to the Emery situation. We do know that several meetings have taken place between the two parties. This possibility excites many because of Emery’s passion, hunger and new outlook that he has something to prove. He has stated that he wants to be a Flyer, which is music to our ears. We love players who recognize how unique our organization is and want to unite with our society as an outcome. With that recognition comes respect for our history, mission and die hard fans.

In conclusion, Emery; although an obvious danger, would be a good fit in Philadelphia. Also, his talent and spirit might lead us to a genuine run at the Stanley Cup, which we all long for. So Emery, your tattoo “Anger is a Gift” doesn’t scare us. We accept your downfalls and think you could legitimately help our “Fly-guys” meet Lord Stanley once again.

1 comment:

T-Bone said...

As THE top Kotite's Corner analyst on the Flyer's goalies, and Biron's mediocrity in particular(as amply proved by a series of past comments on this topic), I feel compelled to offer my unparalleled wisdom on this post. I previously pointed out that Emery is just plain certifiably freakin' nuts! It's one thing to be aggressive, even hot-tempered; it's another to have a long rap sheet of drug incidents, community complaints to police, and assaults on teammates! As I indicated before, though he played all right with the Moscow team last season (though his stats weren't head & shoulders above Biron's), the team temporarily "re-assigned" him to an affiliate in Siberia (!!) for a stint after he assaulted the team's trainer on the bench -- even following the guy to the locker room to smack him around some more. This is a tad bit more than Hextall-like passion! Yes, Philly fans correctly love toughness, but even The Hammer Schultz saved his punishment for the opposition -- not teammates, trainers, or neighbors. Hextall kicked ass to clear the crease, and to retaliate against cheap shots to his defensemen -- he didn't go after Pat Croce! All this doesn't mean than Razor can't channel his anger and be an effective goalie for the Flyboys. He does have solid talent. But his behavioral history indicates that he also has serious emotional stability issues, which makes him a huge risk. In fairness to Homer, he may not have much choice given Biron's free agency and the long-term contract he wants (and clearly doesn't deserve), combined with the fact that top goalies don't exactly grow on trees. He may almost be forced to spin the bullet chamber and hope Emery doesn't explode, splattering blood and body parts all over his team. But this guy is trouble with a capital T, as we will all painfully learn if he indeed winds up with the Orange & Black. And remember -- you heard it here first!