Emery heads to Russia
Ray Emery's NHL career is taking a detour — through Russia, where he'll collect his paycheque in rubles.This, to me, is a mistake.
The goaltender — whose contract was bought out by the Senators last month — has agreed to a one-year deal which could pay him in excess of $2 million plus bonuses next season with Atlant Mytishchi of the newly-formed Continental Hockey League in Russia, Sun Media has learned.
I was actually a little surprised that Emery didn't get a chance as a backup with an NHL club, as he has more talent and upside than some of those who did get a contract. I'd thought that perhaps, even, a team like Detroit might have signed him in the hopes that he could sort out his personal issues in a more positive environment.
If I was Emery's agent, I would have advised him to spend some time in the minors this season. He's young enough that going without the cash for a short period shouldn't be a huge issue, and putting up strong numbers in the AHL would earn him another chance in the big leagues.
Going to Russia doesn't help him earn back that spot, and it may be difficult for him to adjust to the culture change.
Moscow is probably an easier place to get into trouble than Ottawa, too.
UPDATE A colleague at work made the point that, in any other pro sport, athletes get all kinds of second, third and fourth chances regardless of their indiscretions. Think of all the troubled souls in the NFL and NBA that were given plum roles in those leagues.
Is it unique to hockey that Emery's been blacklisted like this for (comparatively) minor problems?