Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Emery + Philly = Phantastic??

The Philadelphia Flyers made their goaltending issues a little bit clearer....or blurrier, by announcing Ray Emery has been all but signed, sealed, and delivered to the team for next season. Emery, of course, was formerly of the Ottawa Senators and then took a Russian vacation this past season and did reasonably well, going 22-8 with a 2.12 GAA and .926 SV%, which got him a job back in the NHL.

Now, before we get to outside the ice, let's get to on the ice. With Emery in, you can see the writing is on the wall for Martin Biron, as he would probably not want to sign for less and sit behind Emery on the Flyers' bench. Emery has the ability to play well when he wants to and when he's healthy; but his last tenure in the NHL was horrid with the Senators and got him bought out by the Senators. We'll see how his vacation in Russia did for him, but it looks like he may have gotten back on track with his play and his abilty to actually win again.

However, the main concern could be what happens off the ice, especially in a place like Philly. If he starts to slump, you know that fans in Philly will get on him and get on him like no other fans could. You have to wonder what could become of his psyche if Emery does flop on expectations made. We've all known about his troubles in Ottawa, both from the team and from the Ontario Provincial Police (yeah, you know me), plus the flare-up he had in Russia when asked to put on a hat. You wonder if he's settle down a bit or if he'll flare-up big time in place that's very unforgiving.

The hope, of course, is that Emery will play well in his one-year deal and then sign a long-term deal and bring some stability to the Flyers goaltending, which really hasn't had a solid starter since maybe Tommy Soderstrom. We'll have to play this by ear, but starting July 1st, when Emery can officially sign, the Razor Era begins in net for the Flyers.

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