The Philadelphia Flyers got their goaltender, and brought back a familiar face, when they signed goalie Ray Emery to a one-year deal worth $1.65 million. It was a deal that was expected, assuming Emery had hit the market, given the Flyers’ need for someone to start or share time between the pipes.
We don’t know what type of role Emery is coming in to serve for the Flyers. Given his success last year, he could come in as a starter, or the Flyers could look at him as a guy to split time and take pressure off Steve Mason, similar to the way the Chicago Blackhawks utilized him this year with Corey Crawford.
If it’s the former, there should definitely be some concern on the part of the Flyers in regard to Emery. He had a fantastic year last year, there’s no doubt about it. Say what you want about his limited time, a 17-1 record is absolutely stellar, in addition to his 1.94 goals against average and .922 save percentage, including three shutouts.
It was a terrific year, no doubt about it. But not only is he coming into a situation where he’s not playing behind as strong of a blue line, which means he’s going to face more shots with the Flyers, we also don’t know if his reconstructed hip will be able to handle a full-time role.
Each of those should raise some concerns for the Flyers, and they should proceed with caution. Emery has a checkered health past, and the backup role in Chicago allowed him to rest up when needed. In addition, life was pretty easy with the Hawks, who boasted a deep blue line, especially compared to that of the Flyers.
This is a situation that we’re going to have to watch unfold. We don’t know what the Flyers are planning for Ray Emery. Sharing the net with Steve Mason makes sense, and could lead to success with the Flyers, but Emery likely was seeking a larger role, which is why he left Chicago. We’ll see which route the Flyers take, and how it shakes out for them as the season wears on.