What are the Senators to do with Ray Emery?
Last season, Emery was their numero uno goaltender. He took the team to the Cup Finals and got a big, shiny new contract in the summer.
This season? Emery is the backup with a 8-7-3 record, 2.95 GAA, and a SV % of .891 compared to Martin Gerber's 23-8-1 record, 2.64 GAA, and .914 SV %.
Even more worrisome is Emery's off-ice conduct. He has been late to practice on a number of occasions, and even missed the team plane to Jersey during the playoffs last season. He fought his teammate in practice earlier this year, and he threw his stick in a fit when he found out that he wouldn't be starting that night's game.
He has been called out by his coach and his captain, but he doesn't seem to be learning. On Monday, he showed up late to practice because he said that he thought the practice was going to be held at Nassau Coliseum, not the Islanders' practice facility, and was promptly kicked out by Coach Paddock.
Was it just a simple mistake? Yeah, it probably was, but these 'mistakes' happen too often with Emery. Maybe it's just me, but if I was being paid millions of dollars to play hockey, I'd make sure that I knew where practice was being held and that I had a good alarm clock to wake me up in time for practice. Heck, I always set my alarm clock and my alarm on my cell phone just to get up in time for class.
At least this time Emery will be paying for his actions; the Senators have fined Emery a reported $14,705 in the hopes that he'll get it.
I'm sure these stories are blown up a little bit, considering it concerns a Canadian hockey team, but shouldn't he realize by now that his actions are widely publicized in the media and that this could eventually have a negative effect on his team? It's the nature of living under the microscope north of the border.
Many have said that Emery needs to go before he ruins the team. Perhaps he'll do better in a less hockey-crazy market? Maybe Los Angeles?
I think Bryan Murray is (at least) considering trading Emery, but who would want to take this potential distraction? Besides, Gerber has not exactly been a tower of strength in the last month of so. My non-professional opinion is that Murray will probably wait until closer to the deadline to see how Gerber does, and he'll give Emery a few more starts to see how he plays. If Gerber starts to channel Ty Conklin's magic, maybe Murray will try to trade Emery at the deadline (maybe to LA for Blake?). If not, I wouldn't expect a change.
In any case, this could be the year the Cup comes to Ottawa. The last thing they need is for Emery to distract them from their ultimate goal.