The soap opera know as "The Rays of our Lives" has given us a new episode. As most of you are aware, Ray Emery arrived at the practice facility in Long Island on Monday more than an hour after he and his team mates were required to arrive. Being that this isn't the first offence for the chronologically challenged, practice shirking keeper, he was told to stay off the ice. Emery is expected to meet with Coach John Paddock and GM Brian Murray on Tuesday to discuss the fallout.
Let me start by saying that IMHO, Ray Emery is the more skilled of Ottawa's two goalies. He has shown in 6 playoff series that he has the skill and the mental fortitude to win in the playoffs. Don't get me wrong, Emery is no Patrick Roy. Emery can not win his team a game on his own. Goalies like this are few and far between. I've always thought of Emery to be much like Grant Fuhr. To date, he hasn't made the costly mistake at the wrong time; like some of Ottawa's goalies in the past.
But all of that ability and potential has disappeared, and all that is left is the eccentric personality. An eccentric personality who can't win is nothing more than a distraction that has the potential to drag down his team.
So the inevitable question is "what to do?"
First and foremost, the Senators are faced with the challenge of sending a message to their current and future roster, if not Emery, that the organization will not put up with this complete and utter lack of professionalism. The Ottawa Senators, under Roy Malakar's careful guidance, have turned this franchise around from a laughing stock to one of the classiest organizations in the league. I am sure they will not allow one player, despite his potential, to ruin that.
With respect to Emery, riding the pines hasn't worked. I would imagine that the next step might be to send him up stairs or even suspend him (although the NHLPA has already stated that they will file a grievance over any suspension of Emery's salary).
Trading him would be the ideal solution; but Emery's antics, when weighed against his $3M plus salary, mean that there is no way that the Senators will get any fair value in return. This assumes that the Sens can find another team desperate enough to take on a "project".
Sending him down to the minors might do the trick. I don't think that the Sens would mind loosing him for nothing on waivers so long as his salary and cap hit go with him. However, sending him down may have two undesirable effects:
1. If Emery gets it together, he will be stuck in Bingo for the rest of the season. The Sens couldn't risk bringing him back up and loosing him on waives while getting stuck with half of his cap hit.
2. If he continues to flounder, he could have a deep and profound negative impact on a number of Senator prospects.
Through all of this, I keep asking myself one question ... What gives the Senators the best chance to win a Stanley Cup?
All my angst in regards to Emery comes from the fact that I have no faith in Gerber to lead the Sens to a Stanley Cup. Despite his spurts of brilliance, he has never shown the consistency needed to take a team all the way through a cup run. For every one of his great games, he has had just as many complete stinkers. More worrying, is that when Gerber is playing badly, the rest of the team seems to have a "Lalame Relapse", and they end up playing equally as bad in front of him.
I hope that Emery can turn it around. If he doesn't and the Sens can't find a suitable replacement, I'm afraid that Ottawa can't be considered a true Stanley Cup threat.
Hey Brian Elliott and Jeff Glass. Can either of you do a Steve Penney imitation?
My cable and user ID are placed for the coverage for the concepts for the citizens. The state of the art of the best resume companies is ensured for the ambit for the turns for the goals. Paving of the goal is rushed for the situation of the turns or the goals.