Ray Emery, a former goaltender who played three of his nine NHL seasons with the Flyers, has passed away at the age of 35, according to reports out of Hamilton, Ont.
Andrew Collins, a Toronto-based photojournalist, reported this morning that Hamilton police were investigating a drowning in the Hamilton Harbour, with help from the Hamilton Beach Rescue and Hamilton Fire Department. Emery had supposedly dove into the water around 6 a.m., and never resurfaced. Late Sunday morning, the victim was identified as Emery.
.@HamiltonPolice investigating drowning at the docks between Leander Boat Club and Harbour West Marina. Victim went into the water just after 6AM, not yet located. @hbru161 & @HamiltonFireDep crews continue searching #HamOnt pic.twitter.com/mMtNMfBw4Y— Andrew Collins (@ACollinsPhoto) July 15, 2018
Friends and first responders have identified victim in early morning drowning at the Hamilton Harbour as former @NHL goalie Ray Emery. Ray played the @ottawasenators, @NHLBlackhawks, @AnaheimDucks and the @NHLFlyers. He was swimming with several friends & never surfaced #HamOnt pic.twitter.com/QpD2tNwDzs— Andrew Collins (@ACollinsPhoto) July 15, 2018
Emery cut his teeth with the Ottawa Senators just after the 2005 lockout, and quickly earned a reputation for his hotheadedness. He made waves in 2007 by taking on Sabres goalie Martin Biron (just five days before his trade to the Flyers) and enforcer Andrew Peters, earning two fighting majors in the same play.
Emery signed a one-year contract with the Flyers for the 2009-10 season, after a tumultuous season with Atlant Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. After going 16-11-1 with a 2.64 goals allowed average and .905 save percentage in 29 games, his season was cut short after being diagnosed with avascular necrosis -- fueling speculation that it would end his career.
After an intense training regiment, including working out with Eric Lindros, Emery recuperated and signed a contract with Anaheim in February 2011, going 7-2-0 in 10 games and 2-3 in the playoffs. He headed to Chicago for the next two seasons, winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013.
In the 2013 offseason, Emery returned to the Orange and Black on a one-year deal, serving as the backup to Steve Mason. In the midst of a 7-0 blowout loss to Washington, Emery garnered headlines when he took on Braden Holtby, as frustration mounted for the Flyers. After three appearances for the Flyers in a first-round playoff loss to the NY Rangers, Emery reprised his role as backup for the 2014-15 campaign. All told, he went 19-23-9 with a 3.01 GAA and .899 save percentage in 59 games.
Emery's career wrapped up in the 2015-16 season, splitting cups of coffee with Ontario and Toronto of the American League as well as Adler Mannheim in Germany.