2011 NHL Free Agency: If Ray Emery Is Cut as a Goalie, He Should Be an Enforcer

Evan LeBlancCorrespondent IIAugust 5, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 22:  Goalie Ray Emery #29 of the Anaheim Ducks makes a save against the Nashville Predators in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 22, 2011 in Anaheim, California. The Predators won 4-3 in  overtime.   (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

For those of you who haven't heard, Ray Emery has been invited to camp for the Chicago Blackhawks. He is looking to get an NHL job as Corey Crawford's backup, and most hockey fans wish him well considering all of the things that he has been through in recent years.

In my mind, he still has the skill to get a job as a goalie in the NHL.

But let's just say he gets cut and is left searching for a way into the NHL. At some point in his career, Emery may not be able to make it as a goalie anymore.

If Ray Emery cannot make it as a goalie, hockey fans should start to hope that he agrees to sign on as an enforcer.

I know this is kind of a crazy idea, but I think it would really heat up rivalries between teams if Emery signed as a fighter. I could assume that he can skate well enough to play, and after some practice, he may even be able to function on an energy line.

Emery has a background as a boxer and is more than willing to take on all comers in a fight. Maybe a team such as the Red Wings, who lack a heavyweight, would be open to taking such a risk.

Most fans would certainly appreciate the challenge that someone like Emery could bring to the ice.

Some fans may remember Emery beating up Josh Gratton when he was in the AHL. He would benefit from fighting with forward pads instead of his goalie gear.

Most serious fans remember the ridiculous fight between Biron and Emery in February 2007 that saw Emery beat Biron soundly. He then proceeded to take on Andrew Peters. It was scary, the way Emery seemed to be laughing while fighting Peters.

Emery as an enforcer would provide an interesting storyline for the NHL and also round out the roster of a team that is in search for more. The Predators or Coyotes are two more teams (besides Detroit) that do not see much fighting.

Perhaps they could benefit from an interesting use of Emery's services. I think the idea of Emery fighting a George Parros or Kyle Clifford would be extremely interesting to watch.

Plus, the reverse psychology that Emery uses (i.e. smiling at his opponents while fighting) is unconventional and intriguing. Doesn't it seem like an enforcer should glare at his opponents? 

In the end, Emery will probably be used as a goalie if he plays in the future. We shouldn't give up hope that he cannot help his fighting past and decides to take on the league's best (or become a boxer, though that wouldn't be quite as interesting.)