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Raymond "Razor" Emery (born September 28, 1982 in Hamiltonmarker, Ontariomarker) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey goaltender, currently signed with the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He formerly played for Atlant Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has been awarded multiple honours, with the majority being at the minor league level.

Emery, who goes by the nicknames Razor and Sugar Ray, was chosen 99th overall by the Senators in the 2001 NHL entry draft. During the 2006–07 season, Emery secured the job of starting goaltender for the Ottawa Senators in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, on June 20, 2008, the Ottawa Senators waived Emery, and then bought out his contract after a string of off-ice incidents caused the organization to sour on him. On July 9, 2008, it was announced that Emery had signed a one-year, $2M contract with Atlant Mytishchi of the Russian KHL. On June 10, 2009, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that Emery had signed a one-year deal for a reported $1.5 million.

Emery is notable for getting into numerous on-ice altercations, a rarity for an ice hockey goaltender, which has left many to compare him to Ron Hextall and Billy Smith. Emery has been involved in one such incident at the NHL level, fighting two Buffalo players, Martin Biron and Andrew Peters, in a line brawl during the 2006–07 NHL season. He was also involved in a much publicized fight with then teammate Brian McGrattan during a Senators' practice in January 2008, as well as an altercation with Jason Spezza during a practice in the 2007 playoffs, and a "verbal sparring match" with Chris Neil on February 3, 2008.

Early life

Emery was born the eldest of three brothers, Andrew and Nicholas, to Charlene and Paul Emery. He grew up on a century-old farmhouse in Cayuga, Ontario, where he attended high school and excelled in both sports and academics. He played many sports other than hockey, including golf, baseball, and soccer. In ice hockey, he originally played defence, but switched to goaltender at nine years old due to a shortage of goaltenders in his league. He was very competitive and was "his own worst critic". For some time before turning to professional hockey, Emery had an ambition to become an architect.

Playing career

Pre-NHL

Emery decided to commit to hockey on the advice of his mother, and tried out unsuccessfully for eight different junior teams. He started his junior hockey career in 1998 in Junior C with the Dunnville Terriers of the OJHL. Despite winning three games out of 22 played, Emery was named Rookie of the Year.

Emery was drafted by OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 5th round of the 1999 OHL draft. Emery split the 1999–2000 season between the Welland Cougars of the OHA and the Greyhounds in the OHL. In 2000–2001 with the Greyhounds, Emery was involved in four on-ice fights. In 2001, Emery was drafted by the Ottawa Senators and subsequently enjoyed his most successful OHL season in 2001–2002.

In 2002–2003, Emery joined the Binghamton Senators of the AHL for his first professional season. He won 27 of 50 games and was named to the AHL's All-Rookie team. Emery was suspended twice for on-ice incidents the same season, and such behavior continued into the 2003–2004 season. He was suspended for three games for bumping a referee, and he was involved in an altercation with Denis Hamel of the Rochester Americans, when Hamel admittedly uttered a racial slur. Emery retaliated and was suspended for three games. Emery and Hamel later became teammates in Binghamton, and Hamel apologized for "for not thinking about what I was saying, in the heat of a game" The 2004–05 season would be his last in the AHL; coincidentally, that season was wiped out in the NHL due to a lockout.

Ottawa Senators (2005–2008)

Emery began his NHL career, in the 2005–06 season, by setting a record for wins to start a career. Emery won his first nine games, moving ahead of Bob Froese, who started the 1982–83 season with eight wins while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. In March of the same season, Emery won 12 games, tying Bernie Parent's 1974 record for the most wins in a month.

At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, Emery had won nine straight games during the regular season, as the back-up for Dominik Hašek. When Hašek injured his groin during the 2006 Winter Olympics, Emery became the starting goalie. Mike Morrison became the backup, after he was picked up off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers. Emery would be the starting goaltender for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, where the Senators lost to Buffalo in five games.

After the 2005–06 season the Senators decided not to bring back Hašek, and they brought in Martin Gerber to compete with Emery for the starter position. Gerber was the starter at the beginning of the season, but due to his poor play, Emery replaced him in mid-November. On Saturday, February 10, 2007, Emery was suspended three games from the NHL for striking Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre with his stick on his face, after Lapierre crashed into Emery's net.

Twelve days later, after his three-game suspension had ended, Emery was involved in a mêlée between the Senators and the Buffalo Sabres. He and Sabres goaltender Martin Biron left their creases to fight each other. After the first fight was finished, Sabres' enforcer Andrew Peters grabbed Emery and a second fight ensued. Both goaltenders received game misconducts, and Emery had the rare feat (for a goaltender) of receiving two five-minute majors for fighting in the same incident. In total, Emery received 22 penalty minutes (two five-minute majors for fighting, a two-minute minor for leaving the crease, and the 10-minute game misconduct) for this altercation. After the altercation, fans and media have dubbed him "Sugar Ray" in reference to retired boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and Emery's reputation as a fighter.

Prior to the 2007 playoffs, Emery and the Senators won 5–2 against the Montreal Canadiens on March 30, 2007, which was his 100th NHL game. Emery's strong play in the season continued on in the playoffs, as the Senators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres each in five games en route to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since the team returned to the NHL in 1992, where the Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. He became a restricted free agent after the end of the season and filed for salary arbitration, but he agreed to a three-year deal with the Senators worth $9.5 million before the hearings were held.

By the pre-season of the 2007–08 campaign, Emery was injured for a lengthy time, due to a wrist injury which limited him to only 40 minutes of the pre-season and to miss several games early in the Senators' season. Unspectacular performances by Emery, combined with improved play by Martin Gerber during the first two months of the season, reduced Emery's playing time once he returned. As a result, Gerber was designated as the starting goaltender for the team. In December, Emery was involved in more controversy, as he was sent home by head coach John Paddock from a practice after claiming that he was feeling ill. It occurred one day after he slammed a stick at another practice expressing his frustration stemming for his reduced playing time this season. Emery later explained that he woke up late and missed the start of that practice. The issue briefly fueled trade rumors.

On January 28, 2008, Emery showed up late to another practice in Long Islandmarker, New Yorkmarker. Emery said that he mistakenly thought that the session was held at the New York Islanders arena, the Nassau Coliseummarker, but it was instead held at the Farmingdale Iceworks. There were also reports that Emery had spent the All-Star Weekend in Las Vegasmarker but Paddock simply stated that he arrived in New Yorkmarker from the west. General manager Brian Murray admitted that he had tried to trade Emery, but there were no takers. Due to his recent tardiness, Emery was fined 1/187 of his salary per this year, which was $14,705.88, which was turned into a donation to CHEOmarker. In addition, Emery was also involved in separate altercations with Brian McGrattan and Chris Neil during practice sessions. On April 18, 2008 Murray announced to the media in an end-of-season press conference that Emery would not return to the Senators for the 2008–09 season. On June 20, 2008, Emery was waived by the Ottawa Senators, and cleared them three days later; as a result, he became a free agent.

Mask controversy

On January 30, 2006, Emery was the target of many critics as a result of a design which was painted on his goalie mask. Emery, an avid boxing fan, wore a mask with a picture of Mike Tyson painted on it. The mask attracted controversy due to Tyson's reputation, notably his past rape convictions. After speaking to the Senators' management, Emery decided not to wear the mask as they both felt it was inappropriate for hockey. He would wear the Tyson mask for only one game, a 5–0 loss against the Boston Bruins. During the 2006 NHL playoffs, Emery wore a new mask featuring Canadian heavyweight boxer George Chuvalo. In the 2007-2008 season Emery's mask also featured Muhammad Ali. Emery finished the season off with Floyd Mayweather on his mask.

Atlant Moscow (2008–2009)

Emery signed a one-year, $2 million contract with Atlant Moscow Oblast of the new Kontinental Hockey League on July 9, 2008 after he was unsuccessful in obtaining an NHL contract. As a foreign goaltender, Emery was only allowed to play in 65% of his team's 56 regular season games due to rules that encourage the development of Russian netminders. He split duties for the season with former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Vitaly Kolesnik.

Controversy followed Emery to Russia. Video famously surfaced showing Emery shoving and swatting his team's trainer during a KHL game. Emery had just been pulled after allowing three goals in the first period against Yaroslavl. Emery's agent, J.P. Barry, stated that the goalie didn't like being "pestered" by the trainer to wear a sponsor's hat. After the following mid-season break, Emery failed to report back to the team due to a financial dispute. With the devaluation of the Russian ruble during the global financial crisis, this resulted in a devaluation of Emery's salary. Wrongly assuming his contracted salary would be price locked at the US dollar forex equivalent, he would eventually return to the team and finish out the remainder of the season.

Philadelphia Flyers (2009–present)

On June 10, 2009, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $1.5 million dollars with Ray Emery. As #1 is retired in Philadelphia in honor of Bernie Parent, he now wears #29. No explanation has been given for his choice. For his mask he has chosen real and fictional boxing figures local to Philadelphia. The left side of his mask shows Bernard Hopkins, the right side has Joe Frazier and the backplate is adorned by Sylvester Stallone as the character Rocky Balboa in the pose with the American flag from the theatrical poster of Rocky IV.

After a successful training camp he marked his return to the NHL with a 2-0 shutout victory against the Carolina Hurricanes in the first game of the season. In his second regular season game with the Flyers, against the New Jersey Devils, he stopped 24 of 26 shots, in a 5-2 victory.

Personal life

Outside of ice hockey, Emery is known for his flamboyant lifestyle. He has numerous tattoos, which include the initials of his parents, Charlene and Paul, and younger brothers Andrew and Nicholas. He has an African symbol for the number one (his jersey number with the Senators), and his nickname "Razor" written across his chest. He also has a tattoo representing his birth symbol, Libra. He once made a $500 bet with Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, which required Emery to eat a cockroach that had been found on the floor of a Carolina dressing room. He won the bet, and used the money to get another tattoo on his right arm which read, "Anger is a Gift".Emery drives a white Hummer, which was involved in a minor car accident on the Queensway while Emery was racing to the airport, after failing to answer his wakeup calls, to fly with the team to New Jersey. Afterwards, he drove an orange Lamborghini while his Hummer was being repaired. Emery was featured in a TSN broadcast which concerned his wardrobe. It includes 50 pairs of shoes, a dozen watches, and a $4000 suit as well as diamond chains. Emery also owns a python named Brendan, after his childhood friend.

Emery was involved in September 2007 in an incident of road rage towards an Ottawa retiree named Jean Therien, while on a freeway driving to Scotiabank Placemarker for training. Emery claimed that Therien cut him off and is just bitter that he lost the "war of words". Therien said that Emery threatened to kill him, and feared for his life after being forced to stop when Emery blocked the road with his Hummer. Therien claimed to eventually sue Emery for his actions. In March 2009, Emery was charged with stunt driving under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act after being caught speeding in excess of 50 km/h over the speed limit of 100 km/h on Highway 416 in Leeds and Grenville County. His Hummer was impounded by the Ontario Provincial Police and his license was suspended. Prior to his departure for Russia in 2008, Emery told on TSN's show Off the Record with Michael Landsberg that he was stopped by police at least 30 times in two years while driving his Hummer.

Career statistics

Regular season

   
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1998–99 Dunnville Terriers NDJCHL 22 3 19 0 1320 140 0 6.36 --
1999–00 Welland Cougars WOHL 23 13 10 0 1323 62 1 2.81 --
1999–00 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 16 9 3 0 716 36 1 3.02 .908
2000–01 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 52 18 29 2 2938 174 1 3.55 .904
2001–02 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 59 33 17 9 3477 158 4 2.73 .914
2002–03 Binghamton Senators AHL 50 27 17 6 2924 118 7 2.42 .924
2002–03 Ottawa Senators NHL 3 1 0 0 84 2 0 1.42 .923
2003–04 Binghamton Senators AHL 53 21 23 7 3109 128 3 2.47 .922
2003–04 Ottawa Senators NHL 3 2 0 0 126 5 0 2.38 .904
2004–05 Binghamton Senators AHL 51 28 18 5 2993 132 0 2.65 .910
2005–06 Ottawa Senators NHL 39 23 11 4 2167 102 3 2.82 .902
2006–07 Ottawa Senators NHL 58 33 16 6 3351 138 5 2.47 .918
2007–08 Ottawa Senators NHL 31 12 13 4 1689 88 0 3.13 .890
2007–08 Binghamton Senators AHL 2 1 1 0 120 6 0 3.00 .930
2008–09 Atlant Moscow Oblast KHL 36 22 8 0 2070 73 0 1.86 .926
NHL totals 134 71 40 14 7,419 335 8 2.71 .907
AHL totals 156 75 59 18 9,146 384 10 2.52 .919
OHL totals 127 60 49 11 7,131 368 6 3.10 .909
Statistics as of 2008-04-18

Playoffs

   
Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1999–00 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 15 8 7 883 33 3 2.24 .926
2001–02 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 6 2 4 360 19 1 3.16 .925
2002–03 Binghamton Senators AHL 14 8 6 848 40 2 2.83 .912
2003–04 Binghamton Senators AHL 2 0 2 120 6 0 3.00 .912
2004–05 Binghamton Senators AHL 6 2 4 409 14 0 2.05 .925
2005–06 Ottawa Senators NHL 10 5 5 604 29 0 2.88 .900
2006–07 Ottawa Senators NHL 20 13 7 1,248 47 3 2.26 .907
2008–09 Atlant Moscow Oblast KHL 7 3 3 419 13 0 1.86 .941
OHL totals 21 10 11 1,243 52 4 2.47 .925
AHL totals 22 10 12 1,377 60 2 2.72 .915
NHL totals 30 18 12 1,852 76 3 2.46 .904
Statistics as of 2008-04-18

Awards

Award League/Organization Year
First All–Star Team OHL 2002
Goaltender of the Year OHL 2002
First All–Star Team CHL 2002
Goaltender of the Year CHL 2002
All–Rookie team AHL 2003
Goaltender of the Month (April) AHL 2005
Defensive Player of the Month (October) NHL 2006
Molson Cup season winner Ottawa Senators 2006–07


See also



References

External links




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