Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ray Emery: From Hero to Villain

OK, so apparently there's an interest here on the Blog about the catastrophe that is Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery. Personally, I've been trying to ignore it as much as possible, but I guess it's time to sit down and delve into Emery's fall from grace.

Doesn't seem so long ago that he was the king of the castle around here. After stealing the #1 goalie position from Martin Gerber last season, he led the Sens to the Stanley Cup Finals with some stellar goaltending, he was popular for his flashy wardrobe choices, he was teaming up with local rapper Belly on the "Go Sens Go" song - let's face it, Ray was the go-to guy in Ottawa. Our very own crazy celebrity in a town that is too often labelled boring and dull.

Last spring, with the playoff hype in full swing, I went out to buy a Senators t-shirt - the red ones that were really popular, with the big logo on the front and a player's name and number on the back. When I went to get mine, the Sports Experts location was almost sold-out. Of course, they had no Wade Redden ones, so I had to choose between Heatley, Spezza, and Emery.

I chose Emery. Not because I didn't like Spezza or Heatley, but because I thought Ray was the coolest guy in a Sens uniform. And I wanted his name on my tee.

Emery's fast rise to fame last season sort of covered up the past indiscretions that had previously had him in the doghouse of the Sens management. There was the legendary Cockroach Story - when Captain Alfie bet him $500 that he wouldn't eat a cockroach, so he ate it and collected his cash. The blonde hair that quickly disappeared, the rumour being that John Muckler, the Sens GM at the time, disapproved of it. The Mike Tyson-themed goalie mask that also quickly disappeared after a public outcry. Hell, he even got in a fender-bender while rushing to catch a flight for Game 5 in New Jersey in the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season, stopped to sign autographs for the fans that gathered on the shoulder of the road, and subsequently missed his flight - it certainly didn't go over well with the team at the time, but he took a commercial flight, won that game, ending the series, so all was forgiven.

In the off-season, he signed a big 3-year contract, had surgery to repair his injured wrist that bothered him all last season, and prepared to return as the Sens #1 goalie.

But things haven't quite gone as planned. First, there was the Road Rage Story that hit papers during camp, which involved Emery having an altercation with a gentleman who claimed Emery cut him off on the Queensway, and the men then exchanged heated words. He also missed most of the camp, because his wrist took longer to heal than expected, and while he was still recovering, the Sens jumped out to an amazing 16-3 start to the season, thanks in large part to the exceptional play of "back-up" Martin Gerber. He was late for practice one day in late December, and while the team tried to cover it up by saying Emery wasn't feeling well, he fessed up that he'd slept in and was told to "beat it" by Coach John Paddock. There was also the practice where he threw a hissy fit and threw his stick into the stands and knocked over a bunch of water bottles. And then came the fight in practice with tough guy Brian McGrattan.

His work ethic has been called into question by the coaching staff and Daniel Alfredsson.

And I won't even get into all the rumours of his partying and wild lifestyle off the ice.

Now, the latest offence: he was late for practice on Monday after spending the All-Star break in Las Vegas, claiming his flight was late and he thought practice was being held somewhere else. Paddock didn't allow him on the ice, and he has since been fined one day's pay.

Emery is calling it an honest mistake. Whether it was or not doesn't really matter. The fact is, he's been on thin ice for a while, so he really should be taking extra care to be on time and work hard. How is that it's always his flights that are late? Why is he always the one who didn't know where practice was? How can 20 other guys manage to figure it out, and he can't?

The sideshow he has become is getting a bit old. It's not funny to hear about his disruptions anymore. He's not smooth and cool anymore. He's turning into a joke, and nobody's laughing. He's on a team that has been lauded as a Cup Contender from the first puck-drop of the season, yet somehow, his crazy antics are grabbing more headlines than anything else. It's grown tiresome; it's not cool.

I'd like Ray Emery to go back to the guy he was last year, when he was all about flash, style & winning. When he was the guy who's name I wanted on the back of my shirt.

However, I fear for Emery that it's already too late.

12 comments:

Jill said...

Slight correction to the story: From what I've read this morning, Emery didn't use a delayed flight as his excuse this time; in fact, he flew in the day BEFORE to make sure he'd be on time, but then went to the wrong rink and spent 2 hours trying to find where he was supposed to be. (However, John Paddock is not satisfied with this story, claiming Emery never tried to get in touch with him en route to explain himself or get directions.)

Sharon said...

Hey Jill,

Just caught up on the blogs. Loved them.

Emery is getting on my nerves... he's obviously a coke addict and everyday his looks remind me more and more of a guy in high school who was completely off his rocker on drugs and continues to thing that partying everynight all night is cool.

Not so cool

Never though I would type this but Go Gerber Go!

priscilla said...

There was a poll on Chez Nation about this, and winning with 29% was trade him ASAP. So Sharon, what about Coronation St? If Liz doen't want to be with Vern anymore she should break up with him. Sure he's useless but he doesn't deserve to be cheated on. And I'm glad Ken left, Deirdre is being stupid. And if she would stop smoking her veins might pop back into her neck. Blanche is funny too, spraying air freshener around Deirdre then looking for her fish cakes, and eating her crackers with her 'tin of soup'. I wonder what did happen to her fish cakes?

Sharon said...

Yeah... I am glad that Ken finally stood up to her because she's being a right "cow"

And I really don't care if Liz cheats on Vernon or not because I don't like him... I hope she leaves him... but it's because the other guy is married, so if she leaves Vernon, she will be alone in the end. And really, she's just a whore... lol

I love that Michelle and Steve are closer to getting together... it's going to happen soon. I can feel it.

Sharon said...

Yeah... I am glad that Ken finally stood up to her because she's being a right "cow"

And I really don't care if Liz cheats on Vernon or not because I don't like him... I hope she leaves him... but it's because the other guy is married, so if she leaves Vernon, she will be alone in the end. And really, she's just a whore... lol

I love that Michelle and Steve are closer to getting together... it's going to happen soon. I can feel it.

Kathleen said...

Jill, I'm pretty sure that Emery is done in Ottawa. Its easy to overlook someone's indiscretions when the team is winning and the player in question is playing well enough. What he's doing has somewhat destroyed what the Senators built...and all for a self serving purpose. He's mad because he was hurt and lost his starting job to Martin Gerber. hello, you're name is not Patrick Roy, you are merely a decent NHL goaltender who was steady in the first three rounds while your team played like champions in front of you last year. He should have shut up and been a professional and worked hard. Gerber went through a bad patch at one point and the job was there for Emery to claim but he was too busy being an assclown or he was so coked up he couldn't seize the opportunity. Instead he's got the Senators looking shaky and as a Habs fan (6 points out 1 game in hand...fingers crossed) all I can say is "keep it up Ray."

Sharon said...

Assclown... that's a new one, but I love it! I will use that from now on!

Kathleen said...

I didn't make it up myself. I looked under "Ray Emery" in the thesaurus and there it was.

Jill said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Kathleen said...

oh wow, I'm insulting a Senator and Jill is agreeing with me...unless that "HAHAHAHA" is her plotting my demise...

Jill said...

If Ray Emery smartens up & plays like he did last year, I'll again be a big fan. But until then, I'll agree with the assclown assessment.

Dreading tonight's game...

Kathleen said...

really? I'm looking forward to it and I know the Sens can be had but I'm afraid my Habs will be feeling a tad deflated after the game on Sunday. I wish He Of The Big Juicy Rebound was starting in the net but I should just count my blessing that Alfie and Heatley won't be in the lineup.
I was listening to the Ramones this morning and I found the perfect song for Emery.

I Can't Make It On Time
I can't make it on time
I can't make it on time
I keep tryin' and tryin'
I can't make it on time

I can't hurry and you can't wait
It doesn't matter 'cause we're already late
I can't get get off the telephone
It always rings when I'm alone

You gotta wait wait
'Cause you don't need no one
Wait wait
'Cause you know that I'm the one
You gotta wait
Hey , hey , hey
Wait