Ray Emery: 5 Reasons He Helped To Fill a Void For The Anaheim Ducks

Liz BrownsteinContributor IFebruary 16, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - JANUARY 28:  Ray Emery #29 of The Philadelphia Flyers in action against the Atlanta Thrashers during their game on January 28, 2010 at The Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

After the Anaheim Ducks decided to sign goaltender Ray Emery to a one-year, two-way contract, there were some questions as to the purpose behind this.  

Below is my list of five reasons why signing Emery was a good move for what Anaheim needed:


1. Options in Hiller's absence: 

Now that Jonas Hiller has been taken out a second time due to fatigue and lightheadedness, GM Bob Murray has been forced to call up goalies from Syracuse twice now in the past few weeks.  

By signing Ray Emery, Anaheim now has two viable options when Curtis McElhinney needs a rest, in both Timo Pielmeier and Ray Emery.  

Emery has proved himself several times in the big leagues, while Pielmeier has not had as many opportunities, so that available choice is one that relieves the stress of Hiller and McElhinney.


2. More playoff experience between the pipes:

Many times that the Ducks make solid playoff runs, the nod for starting goaltender falls on the shoulders of the No. 2 goalie because the first seated goalie often needs a break. 

Ilya Bryzgalov helped out Jean-Sebastian Giguere a lot in the postseason when he was a backup, and Hiller started to make his case as a contender to be a number one goalie in the postseason.  

Adding Emery adds depth when it comes to experience in the playoffs, and on a team that is as young as the Ducks, this is a great addition.


3. Choices come summer's free agency:

Both Ray Emery and Curtis McElhinney have contracts that expire come this summer. By adding Emery as an option, Bob Murray has opened up that possibility.  

Murray has the choice to sign either Emery or McElhinney, or seek back-up help elsewhere; however, by signing Emery to this two-way contract, the Ducks have Emery at their disclosure to sign or let walk come summer.


4. Cheap addition of proven talent:

Emery was a key aspect in the Ottawa Senators run in the postseason in both 2005-2006 and 2006-2007; even with that, his price tag is surprisingly low.  

Anaheim could be thinking that McElhinney will want a raise, while Emery could stay cheaper. With other contracts nearing their expiration, Anaheim needs to save all the salary cap room they can spare.  

All in all, the choices that Murray now has opened up for himself gives him a lot more wiggle room with who he wants to keep around long-term.


5. Allows Timo Pielmeier to mature in the minors:

Timo Pielmeier has been recalled from the Syracuse Crunch several times this year, and adding Ray Emery to the mix will help to make it so that maybe Pielmeier will make that cross-country trip fewer times.  

Emery can be that missing link that lets the young, 21 year-old Pielmeier really blossom back with the Syracuse Crunch, and stop spending so much time on an airplane being called up and sent back down. 


Overall, everyone really benefits from Emery's signing.  

McElhinney has a solid backup in the case of him needing to rest, especially with Hiller now expected to miss a few games. Also, Pielmeier will have the opportunity to stay in Syracuse to grow more, letting Emery take the long flight to Anaheim.  

With an Anaheim team that has been inconsistent in terms of goaltending, this could be a very profitable move for Anaheim.

For why Beauchemin is a great addition, click here.


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