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Remembering Former Chicago Blackhawk Goaltender Ray Emery

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EDMONTON, CANADA - APRIL 24: Ray Emery #30 of the Chicago Backhawks skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on April 24, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Perry Nelson/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, CANADA - APRIL 24: Ray Emery #30 of the Chicago Backhawks skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on April 24, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Perry Nelson/Getty Images) /
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The hockey world received terribly sad news today as Ray Emery, former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender, drowned in Hamilton Harbour in Hamilton, Ontario. Emery was 35.

Here’s a tweet from Andrew Collins that broke the news this morning.

Insp. Marty Schulenberg told the Hamilton Spectator “We responded along with Hamilton Fire and EMS. Unfortunately, our efforts on the water and in the area just around the piers were met with negative results.” Later, Emery was then identified as the victim in the drowning. Schulenberg added “They went out for a swim and unfortunately he did not emerge after diving in.”

Hamilton police called it a “case of misadventure.” They later confirmed the events around 3 p.m.

Emery in the NHL

Ray played 11 seasons in the NHL between the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. He carried the Senators to the Cup final in 2007. Additionally, he won it with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 as the strongest number two the Hawks have had in years.

During the Cup winning season, Corey Crawford and Emery together won the William Jennings Trophy (for allowing the fewest regular season wins). Furthermore, Crawford, the Blackhawks number one at the time, finished eighth in Vezina Trophy that season.

Ray Emery finished seventh.

In a season shortened by a lockout, he went 17-1-0 and put up an outstanding 1.94 GAA (goals-against-average).

However, Bernie Parent — former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender — put it best in his tweet.

On the ice, Ray always battled. He never backed down from a challenge. The first time I watched him, I could tell the enormous amount of heart he played with.

The NHL Reacts

Players, fans, owners, and teams all felt the loss of Ray incredibly hard.

Daniel Carcillo took to Twitter after hearing the news. “I am fucking crushed. You will be missed deeply Ray. I love you man.” He continued, saying “I will always remember Ray as a good person first and foremost. I envied his demeanor. He had a contagious personality. People were drawn to him. I made close friends because of him.” Carcillo tagged Dave Bolland, one of Ray’s best friends, and said “I will never forget his selflessness. Man this hurts. Rest easy Uncle Ray Ray.” Carcillo is a former teammate and good friend of Ray.

Though Bolland’s message was brief, it was sincerely heartfelt. He was a long time best friend of Ray and obviously took the loss hard. Dave said in a tweet, “Lost my golfing buddy and best friend today. Uncle Ray Ray touched a lot of hearts and people. Love and miss ya.”

Before Blackhawks games, I’d hold my Dave Bolland jersey up on the class. Half the time, Ray Emery would flip a puck over the glass to me. I could tell that the two shared a connection back then. I had no idea how deep it was. As a kid, I was touched at how kind Ray was. Players don’t have to smile, acknowledge or flip pucks to fans. Emery did anyway, just to make somebody’s day. I’ll never forget that about him.

More from Blackhawks News

Countless people have spoken up after his passing.

First, James van Riemsdyk said “So sad to hear the tragic news about Ray Emery- was a great teammate and person.”

Then, Paul Bissonnette said “Such sad news about Ray Emery. He will be greatly missed. An incredible teammate with a huge heart.”

Later, Flyers President Paul Holmgren added “What I remember most about Ray is his competitiveness and his love of his teammates and his teammates’ love of him. he was just a great, great teammate that everyone loved and wanted to be around.”

The overwhelming theme is that he was a great teammate and a better friend.

Undoubtedly, Ray will be missed by every person in the hockey community.

Remembering Ray

Through 11 NHL seasons, Ray experienced various amounts of highs and lows. He was nicknamed Razor for his style and the way he played. I will leave you with a few videos to help remember why Ray was so special both on, and off, the ice.

To start, here’s his 45-save performance against Calgary which was a huge part of the epic run the Blackhawks went on in 2013.

Next, this video features young Ray Emery taking on multiple Buffalo Sabres.

And finally, Ray chirping St. Louis Blues’ Barrett Jackman.

I will go ahead and close with a note from the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kyle Dubas.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks' Focus Is To Continue Building From Within

It read, “My wife and I were just talking about Ray Emery last night and to see the news of his passing this afternoon is equally sad and shocking.” Continuing on, Dubas wrote “Ray’s smile and intelligence made him a magnetic personality. You always rooted for him to reach his vast potential even as he went through the many ups and downs of his playing career. My deepest condolences to his family and friends for their loss. He will be missed.”

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