Can Ray "Razor" Emery Stay Sharp For One More Season?

Scott MillerAnalyst IJuly 6, 2008

It wasn't a surprise to most when goalie Ray Emery was put on waivers (and then bought out) by the Ottawa Senators after a rough season this year. But what surprises me is that no team has taken a chance and signed him by now.

If you look at Emery's stats in the 2006-07 season, you'd understand why the Ottawa Senators made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Emery had a record of 33-16-6, a goals-against-average of 2.47, a save-percentage of .918, and five shutouts.

His playoff stats were just as impressive, when he had a record of 13-7, and goals-against-average of 2.26, save-percentage of .907, and three shutouts.

Yes, they eventually lost to the Ducks, but John Muckler even said (after they won the Eastern Conference Final), that the fact he took a team to the Stanley Cup Final makes him an elite goaltender.

However, it looked like this season that Emery wasn't so "elite". He had a record of 12-13-4, a goals-against-average of 3.13, and a save-percentage of .890. However, Emery's failure had nothing to do with stats; it had to do with discipline, and a bit too much ego.

Emery had a wrist injury early on in the season, and when his season began, it got off to a bumpy start. Eventually, Emery lost his starting job to Martin Gerber. This only made Emery lash-out, leading to him showing up to practise late, getting in arguments with his coach and teammates, and it affected his whole team. This ultimately led to the poor season the Senators suffered this year.

So, I can understand where the Senators were coming from when they decided to give Emery the boot. But if a guy like Raycroft can get signed by a new team after a couple brutal seasons, why can't Emery get signed by a new team after only one bad season?

Emery is a good goalie - when he wants to be. A general manager should jump in, sign the guy, and give him a chance. If he gets the starting job, he'll straighten out. But, that's a big "if".

It's a risk, but it could be worth it, because Emery has proved he can take a team very close to a Cup. And who knows, maybe if he goes to the right team, he can take them all the way.