Ray Emery: NHL's Exiled Goalie or Double Standard?

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Ray Emery: NHL's Exiled Goalie or Double Standard?
(Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

I will be the first to admit that I am ignorant to the ways of the NHL outside of the Philadelphia Flyers.  However, upon hearing the checkered past of newly acquired goalie Ray Emery I had to do a bit of a double take over the prospect of this being his last chance to play in the NHL.

Emery, a five-year NHL veteran, led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007, but was unceremoniously released in 2008 for numerous run-ins with teammates and clashing with head coach John Paddock.  Emery recently played a season in Russia before signing with the Flyers for the 2009-2010 season.

How are Emery's misdeeds any more extreme than anything the likes of a Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, or Manny Ramirez have done to disrupt team chemistry in their respective sports?

For all the headaches that are caused by malcontent players, Emery's offenses seem minor to those already mentioned. 

Owens hijacked an entire organization with sit-ups in his driveway, Johnson suffers from an identity crisis (notice I do not call him by his made-up last name), and Ramirez has quit on teams before on a whim.

There is quite the double standard at work here.  In a sport like hockey, where fighting is encouraged, the actions of Emery are not tolerated.  This is a sport that should practice what it preaches. 

They hold the honor of upholding what some would call a barbaric aspect of the game in fighting, but are quick to give a headstrong goalie the boot with all intentions to keep him out of the league permanently.  Last I checked, the ultimate offender in hockey, Sean Avery, still has a team.

Emery was given a one year deal by the Flyers.  Hopefully, this is will be viewed as a challenge to him by the Flyers and the league to prove everyone wrong and perform at the high level he is accustomed to.

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