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Ray Emery The Best UFA Signing This Summer?

from John Boruk of CSNPhilly,

Ray Emery may be the top offseason acquisition this summer.

No, not just the Flyers' best free-agent find.

The best free-agent signing of any team.

Disregard the organization, the player and the circumstances for a moment. Acquiring a goaltender who posted eye-popping numbers this previous season -- 17-1-0 record, 1.94 goals-against average and .922 save percentage -- and you’ve instantly solidified your goaltending position. Throw in the bargain-bin price tag of $1.65 million and Emery is an absolute steal.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

Comments

bezukov's avatar

Time to quit drinking John.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/12/13 at 12:22 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

And who do you think is the best signing for the UFA period? Off the top of my head, I can’t really think of another one that meets a need as much as this signing and isn’t probably overpaying to meet that need.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/12/13 at 12:24 PM ET

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It’s certainly low risk/high reward, but if I’m a Flyers fan, I wish their other option in goal wasn’t so worrisome.

Emery is a gamer though. He’s played in tough hockey markets and knows what comes along with tending goal in Philly, which seemed to be half the battle with Bryz.

Posted by Chris M on 07/12/13 at 12:27 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Ference?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/12/13 at 12:38 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Ference?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/12/13 at 01:38 PM ET

Possibly. I’m always leary of signing older D men to multi-year contracts (see my angst over the whole Streit signing by the Flyers). Ferrence is 34 and signed a 4 year deal. I’d be worried about the last year or two of that contract.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/12/13 at 12:44 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Emery’s “eye-popping” numbers came while backstopping the best defense in the league.  Philly’s defense, well, isn’t quite the best defense in the league.  We’ll see how good he is this season.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/12/13 at 12:50 PM ET

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I think he may be one of the best signings. He had great numbers in Anaheim. He had great numbers in Chicago. I read some descriptions of what his recovery process was like with his hip and it sounded like hell just to see if he could play again. He’s hungry and motivated as hell to keep going. It’ll be interesting to watch.

Posted by beardChamp on 07/12/13 at 12:58 PM ET

SYF's avatar

The season hasn’t even started.  You’re bored to death, John.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 07/12/13 at 01:44 PM ET

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No. Just no.

Almost any goalie in the NHL can luck into a 1.94 and .922 over a 21-game sample, especially behind the league’s best team. There is literally nothing we can learn from that small a sample. It doesn’t prove anything.

More telling is that, over a 228-game regular season career Emery is a .908 goalie, which is decidedly below average. Lump his .903 in 36 career playoff games into the sample and he starts inching toward the border between “below average” and “suck.”

He’s a backup goalie, period, and not even an especially good one.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/12/13 at 02:00 PM ET

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Let’s reiterate how silly putting too much stock into Emery’s 2013 numbers really is.

He only faced 460 shots all year, which means that every single goal he allows or save he makes shifts his save percentage by more than .002.

Let’s pretend Ray let in just 3 extra goals on the shots he faced this year. Maybe a shot that hit the post and deflected out goes in. Maybe a controversial goal that was waved off gets allowed. Maybe Brent Seabrook fails to bail him out on a clean beat.

Those three goals would shift Emery’s .922 (generally considered to be very very good) all the way to .915 (generally considered to be average).

That’s why you just can’t read too much into goalie stats over just one year, or in this case for less than half of a 48-game year. Over long periods of time these things cancel, but in such a short period of time it’s just too hard to distinguish the signal from the noise.

Emery does have a longer-term track record, of course. And it sucks.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/12/13 at 02:12 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/12/13 at 01:24 PM ET

See below.

Emery’s “eye-popping” numbers came while backstopping the best defense in the league.  Philly’s defense, well, isn’t quite the best defense in the league.  We’ll see how good he is this season.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/12/13 at 01:50 PM ET

And this.

No. Just no.

Almost any goalie in the NHL can luck into a 1.94 and .922 over a 21-game sample, especially behind the league’s best team. There is literally nothing we can learn from that small a sample. It doesn’t prove anything.

More telling is that, over a 228-game regular season career Emery is a .908 goalie, which is decidedly below average. Lump his .903 in 36 career playoff games into the sample and he starts inching toward the border between “below average” and “suck.”

He’s a backup goalie, period, and not even an especially good one.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/12/13 at 03:00 PM ET

Maybe he is the best signing by a team looking to solve a problem it’s own creation.  Anyway, I won’t argue that he doesn’t fill a gap for Philly at a good price, but the best FA signing?  If you think that it’s time to put down the hometown coolaid and get some perspective.  Several teams did better IMO.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/12/13 at 02:15 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Regardless of what team Emery was playing with when he compiled last season’s numbers, he had to be outstanding to do what he did.  Before he imploded when up north and before his major hip surgery, he showed every evidence of being an elite goalie.  He can do that again.  What a team like Philthydelphia needs is a goalie who can steal a half a dozen or more games.  Emery can do that and he is quite cheap too.

PS: I merely detest the Flyers; I loathe Boston and Pittsburgh.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 07/12/13 at 02:47 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/12/13 at 03:15 PM ET

As I asked above, who would be yours then? Someone replied with Ferrence and I consider that close. The thing is, this year’s class just isn’t all that great. I don’t have homer glasses, I’m one of the few of my friends who actually aren’t all giddy of the Lecavalier or Streit signings (I would rather have signed Ferrence, to be honest). I am with the Emery signing because I saw what he was doing with the Flyers before he got hurt and how he played with Chicago.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/12/13 at 06:52 PM ET

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... Before he imploded when up north and before his major hip surgery, he showed every evidence of being an elite goalie ...

Posted by DocF on 07/12/13 at 03:47 PM ET

Whatever evidence there may have been, it certainly isn’t statistical.

I mean, I know stats aren’t everything, but it seems to me that Emery fits the category of “goalie who had one fairly good season behind an excellent team and was thereafter forever overrated.” In Emery’s case, that would be 2006-07, behind an Ottawa team that had a great regular season and went to the Stanley Cup final, in which he sported a .918—a strong, but sub-elite, number. And that still stands as by far his best full season of work statistically—which is to say, he’s never had elite stats and only very rarely has even had good ones.

I tend to take the perspective that Emery is not that good, that he has never been that good, and that his reputation as a bit of a head case and his hip issues have been used as an excuse to explain why he has failed to reach his potential. Whereas I tend to think that if he really had that much potential, he wouldn’t be 30 years old with a .908 career save percentage and one better than average season as a starter in the first place.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/12/13 at 07:44 PM ET

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As for who the true best acquisition of the summer is ...

Maybe this is a bit of a cop-out, but presuming he chooses to stay in the NHL I suspect the best UFA signing is ultimately going to be Mikhail Grabovski, especially if he comes in at a fairly steep discount from what he had been making in Toronto. I think he’s a very, very good borderline first/second liner who was misused last year in Toronto and very likely will have a strong bounce-back season somewhere else.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/12/13 at 07:57 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

... Mikhail Grabovski, ...
Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/12/13 at 08:57 PM ET

Do you think he ends up being signed by the KHL? Maybe he signs with the Devils now?

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/12/13 at 08:11 PM ET

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Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 07/12/13 at 09:11 PM ET

I honestly have no clue. I imagine that since he’s Belarusian and has some history with the RSL/KHL that he might well consider “going home” if he doesn’t find the contract he wants here, but ultimately I don’t know what his priorities are.

Mostly I know he’s a very good possession player with a nice scoring touch, and also that he’s kind of a jerk and doesn’t much care for Randy Carlyle. He possibly brings some baggage but in my opinion he’s a hell of a player, very underrated.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/12/13 at 08:27 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Mostly I know he’s a very good possession player with a nice scoring touch, and also that he’s kind of a jerk and doesn’t much care for Randy Carlyle. He possibly brings some baggage but in my opinion he’s a hell of a player, very underrated.

He helps out at Datsyuk’s camp (or at least he used to).  I can’t help but feel like he’s going to go somewhere else and not be a problem any more.  Maybe not this next stop, but my feeling on him is that he’s not a complete bad apple and will either grow up or get into a better situation someday.

I’ve been wrong before, though.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/12/13 at 10:24 PM ET

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