MONTREAL, Canada (AFP)–Ray Emery, who helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the 2013 Stanley Cup during an 11-season National Hockey League career, died Sunday in his hometown of Hamilton, Canada. He was 35.
Police said Emery was reported missing while swimming with friends at Hamilton Harbour. His body was found Sunday afternoon near the spot where he was last seen, the victim of an apparent drowning, although an official cause of death is pending.
Emery, a fourth round pick by Ottawa in the 2001 NHL Draft, played for Ottawa, the Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks and Blackhawks before retiring in 2016 with a career record of 145-86-28 with a 2.70 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and 16 shutouts in 287 NHL games.
He went 21-17 with a 2.64 GAA and three shutouts in 39 Stanley Cup playoff games, including 13-7 with Ottawa in a run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, where the Senators lost to Anaheim.
“On behalf of the Ottawa Senators, I wish to express my sincere condolences on the passing of Ray Emery,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a statement.
“Ray was instrumental in our run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, and at his best he brought a competitive edge and combative mentality to the game.”
Emery made his NHL debut with the Senators in 2002-03 and won his first nine games to break Bob Froese’s record of eight straight victories to start an NHL career set in 1982-83.
In 2005-06, Emery’s 12 wins in March tied Bernie Parent’s 1974 record for most in one month.
“‘All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile…’ Rest In Peace my friend,” Parent tweeted.
Flyers captain Claude Giroux tweeted, “Ray was a great teammate and an even better friend. Rest in peace Razor. I’ll miss you man.”
“The Philadelphia Flyers are stunned and extremely saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Ray Emery,” a team statement said. “Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender. He had exceptional athleticism, was a fierce competitor and battled in every game he played with the Flyers.”
In 2012-13, Emery went 17-1 with a 1.94 GAA and with Blackhawks teammate Corey Crawford won the Jennings Trophy for the team allowing the fewest goals in a season.
“The Chicago Blackhawks organization was deeply saddened to hear of Ray Emery’s passing,” the club said in a statement. “The Blackhawks will fondly remember Ray as a fierce competitor, a good teammate and a Stanley Cup champion.”
© Agence France-Presse