So Ottawa’s resident problem child is up to his old tricks, huh? Ray Emery is late for practice – again – and this time he’s run out of dead uncles and destructive canines to blame it on. Let’s be glad the man is not a neurosurgeon.
One has to admire Emery’s creativity in coming up with viable explanations. His imagination in formulating excuses is second to none and perhaps his abilities would be better suited as the NHL’s Media Public Relations Manager. Just imagine what Ray could come up with to explain the continually-dismal U.S. network television ratings: Once Venus and Saturn are indeed in alignment I really think viewers in Iowa will be hooked.
Up to this point Emery’s antics have been relatively harmless with no actual victims - aside from puncturing team unity; threatening elderly drivers; and a couple of water bottles who will never walk again. But you have to know his behavior is rankling the team, at least a little, evidenced by captain Daniel Alfredsson’s complete and utter refusal to drop the gloves since the first bothersome incident earlier this year.
Now, of course, the question lingers as to whether the violator in question will, well, keep violating. In as much as the man’s been on a pretty decent run with the Senators, let’s face facts: A defective waffle iron could play goal for this staunchly defensive team. Ray just has a (somewhat) better glove hand.
The tally so far in disciplinary action has been: Ray losing the starting job; the odd team suspension; small relatively-insignificant fines and, of course, the newly-instituted No Shadowboxing in Warm-ups rule.
But, would a man in Ray Emery’s position really care that’s he (temporarily) lost the starting position to the Gerber baby or that he’s been forced to sit on the sidelines through the NHL dog days of January (and February, and March...) with ample time to re-read the fine print of his $9.5 million contract? Hardly. That, my friends, is simply another opportunity for him to perfect those immaculately-artistic sideburns of his.
So, how do you go about getting him back into the fold? How do you reign in Ray Emery? Well, any criminologist, school principal or attentive parent will tell you the key to rehabilitating the troubled few is to (a) first understand what makes him tick and then (b) be ready to suspend the ticking. You have to be willing to, as tough disciplinarians and terrible boxers will attest to, hit him where it hurts.
For Emery to finally learn this eternal lesson about the value of team unity and why there are little hands on little clocks, you must first enact a punishment truly befitting the crime.
Ray Emery, from this day forward, until you have adequately proven your dedication to your teammates, your devotion to your job and your respect for the rules and mandates of your coaching staff, you are hereby forced to shop for all your clothes and everything you will wear for the foreseeable future at – yes, you heard me – Wal-Mart.
Within 10 days I guarantee you’ll have a Boy Scout tending the Ottawa goal.