Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery passed away early Sunday morning, he was 35.
Emery, who played three seasons with the Flyers, was reportedly swimming with friends at the Hamilton Harbour and never surfaced.
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
At 2:50 pm, HPS recovered the body of former @NHL player Ray Emery, 35. Emery was reported missing just after 6:00 am in #HamOnt harbour. His body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen. Family has been notified. Cause of death to be confirmed pending a PM.— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) July 15, 2018
The Hamilton native was a fourth-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators and burst onto the scene in 2006-07, helping lead the Sens to their first ever Stanley Cup final. The Sens lost that series to the Ducks, but Emery appeared to emerge in net with better things expected to come. He signed a new, three-year contact with the Sens worth $9 million following the season.
Instead, Emery was besieged by the injury bug the following season, something that would would follow his career. After missing 40 games due to various ailments, the Sens cut tied with Emery in June of 2008. He went unclaimed on waivers and joined the KHL’s Atlant Moscow with no NHL job on the horizon. In the KHL Emery rebuilt his value and was able to land a one-year deal with the Flyers in free agency of 2009.
Emery’s first Flyers stint would last just 29 games before a hip issue would force him to be shut down for a length of time. He was 16-11-1 with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage to go along with three shutouts.
But Emery’s career was very much in jeopardy following his first Flyers stint. The goalie developed avascular necrosis in his hip, the same disease that claimed the career of NFL/MLB crossover Bo Jackson. Doctors caught the disease early, though, and Emery returned late in the 2011 season with the Ducks before spending the next two years as the Blackhawks’ backup before returning to Philadelphia.
Then it was time for a second stint with the Flyers, though this one lasted longer, with Emery signing two one-year deals to backup then-starter Steve Mason. Emery wasn’t the same netminder, robbed of much of the athleticism that he had earlier in his career, but he did provide some fireworks in the crease. He didn’t play following the 2014-15 season after not being offered another contract from the Flyers.
His career numbers include a record of 145-86-28 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. He had 16 career shutouts and won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13.
Fellow members of the NHL fraternity have reacted to the news of Emery’s passing on social media, including Dan Carcillo and Paul Bissonette as well as from his last team, the Mannheim Eagles in Germany.
I am fucking crushed. You will be missed deeply Ray. I love you man.— Daniel Carcillo (@CarBombBoom13) July 15, 2018
Such sad news about Ray Emery. He will be greatly missed. An incredible teammate with a huge heart.— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 15, 2018
Soeben haben wir von der tragischen Nachricht unseres ehemaligen Keepers erfahren: Ray #Emery ist bei einem Schwimmunfall ums Leben gekommen. Unser tief empfundenes Beileid sowie unser aufrichtiges Mitgefühl gelten seiner Familie und seinen Freunden. #RIP, Razer!! #trauer pic.twitter.com/tfvjKOGsdU— Adler Mannheim (@adlermannheim) July 15, 2018
Emery wasn’t without his demons. There were reported drug issues and allegations of abuse from his significant other; serious character flaws that shouldn’t be ignored. But he was a human being, who has died in tragic circumstances far too young, and for a time he was a part of the team we love. Thanks for the memories, Razor. You’ll be missed.