BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROFILE: RAY EMERY
Ray Emery played 11 NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. Born in Hamilton on Sept. 28, 1982, Emery began playing youth hockey as a defenseman before switching to goalie at age 9. He made his NHL debut with the Senators in 2002-03 and won his first nine games to break Bob Froese's record of eight straight victories to start an NHL career set in 1982-83. In 2005-06, Emery's 12 wins in March tied Bernie Parent's 1974 record for most in one month.
Emery’s NHL career began when he was selected by the Senators in the fourth round (No. 99) of the 2001 NHL Draft, Emery was 145-86-28 with a 2.70 goals-against average, a .906 save percentage and 16 shutouts in 287 NHL games (252 starts). Emery was 21-17 with a 2.64 GAA, a .902 save percentage and three shutouts in 39 Stanley Cup Playoff games, including 13-7 with a 2.26 GAA and .907 save percentage to help the Senators advance to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, when they lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games.
Emery spent the 2008-09 season with Atlant Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League before agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with the Flyers on June 10, 2009. Emery won the William M. Jennings Trophy with Blackhawks teammate Corey Crawford in 2012-13, given to the goaltender or goaltenders who allow the fewest goals in one season. Emery was 17-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA and .922 save percentage. He was a two-time Masterton Trophy finalist given the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. He won the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 but did not appear in a postseason game.
Tragically, in the early morning hours of July 15, 2018, Ray jumped from a friends boat into Hamilton Harbor, and never resurfaced. His body was pulled from the water eight hours later. Police chalked his death up to "misadventure." He was 35 year old.
Despite facing some challenges and setbacks during his career, Emery always approached the game with determination and a positive attitude. Emery’s NHL career was characterized by his strong play in the net and his competitiveness. He was known for his quick reflexes and ability to make key saves at critical moments in the game. In addition, Emery’s energetic personality and leadership qualities made him a popular teammate and fan favorite wherever he played.