Scott Hartnell Jersey

Ray Emery, a talented and mercurial goaltender who played for four NHL teams over 11 seasons, drowned early Sunday while swimming at a yacht club in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was 35.

Hamilton Police tweeted that Emery’s body was recovered from the city’s harbor shortly before 3 p.m., near where he was last seen approximately nine hours earlier. The Hamilton Spectator reported that Emery was with a group of people on a friend’s boat when they decided to jump in the water.

At 2:50 pm, HPS recovered the body of former @NHL player Ray Emery, 35. Emery was reported missing just after 6:00 am in #HamOnt harbour. His body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen. Family has been notified. Cause of death to be confirmed pending a PM.

“They went out for a swim and unfortunately he did not emerge after diving in,” Hamilton Police Inspector Martin Schulenberg told the Spectator. “Unfortunately, our efforts on the water and in the area just around the piers were met with negative results.”

Figures around the NHL were quick to react. One of Emery’s former teammates, James van Riemsdyk, tweeted: “So sad to hear the tragic news about Ray Emery- was a great teammate and person.” Another former teammate, Scott Hartnell, chimed in, “So sad to hear the news of Ray Emery. You will be missed bro!”

Former teammates lauded Emery’s mentorship and leadership, especially in his final professional season in the AHL in 2015-16. Enforcer-turned-analyst Paul Bissonnette, a teammate with the AHL’s Ontario (Calif.) Reign, said Emery would treat other players to dinner almost every night.”I’d heard nothing but great things before meeting him and it was true,” Bissonnette told The Associated Press. “He was awesome. Great in the locker room and just made life enjoyable.”

Emery’s last professional team, Germany’s Adler Mannheim, tweeted, “RIP, Razer!!”, a reference to his nickname.”Ray’s smile and intelligence made him a magnetic personality,” said Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, who knew Emery from junior hockey and the goalie’s stint with the American Hockey League’s Marlies. “You always rooted for him to reach his vast potential even as he went through the many ups and downs of his playing career.”

A Hamilton native, Emery was drafted by the Ottawa Senators with the 99th overall pick in 2001. In 2006-07, he led the Senators to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance, winning 33 of the 58 regular season games he started while posting a .918 save percentage and a 2.47 goals-against average.

But the most memorable moment from that season is Emery’s fight against Buffalo Sabres goalie Martin Biron, a scrap that earned him 22 penalty minutes — including not one, but two five-minute majors for fighting.

Emery struggled to control his temper and his career was marked by several confrontations with teammates and coaches. There was also an incident of road rage, assault of a trainer in Russia and behavior that led to him being sent home from Ottawa’s training camp.

The Senators waived Emery after the 2007-08 season and the rest of his tenure proved to be a journeyman’s existence that included stops in Russia, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Chicago, Philadelphia again and Germany. In addition to Ontario and Toronto, Emery also spent time with minor-league teams in Syracuse, N.Y.; Glens Falls, N.Y.; Binghamton, N.Y.There were moments of glory: Emery got his name on the Stanley Cup in 2013 as a member of the champion Chicago Blackhawks. In that lockout-shortened season, Emery went an astonishing 17-1 and set a record for the most consecutive wins by a goaltender to start a season (13).

That season, Emery and fellow Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford combined to win the William Jennings Trophy for allowing the league’s fewest goals and finished seventh in Vezina Trophy voting.

The achievement was all the more remarkable considering that four years earlier, Emery had been diagnosed with avascular necrosis, the same serious hip ailment that ended two-sport star Bo Jackson’s career.

This past September, Emery was arrested and accused of assaulting his ex-fiancee, singer Keshia Chante, over three months between July and September 2016. Emery was released on bail and it was not immediately clear how the matter was resolved.

Viktor Arvidsson Jersey

NHL equivalency (NHLe) scoring rates have been around for a while and have morphed and changed as more data becomes available. NHLe is a system that looks at how much scoring a player retains from various leagues when he moves to the NHL the following year. It’s not meant to be a definitive evaluation by any means, but it helps tell us two things:

 

It gives us a basic hierarchy of feeder league difficulty. By virtue of NHLe, we can say things like “the KHL is a stronger league than Liiga.” That helps us establish, at a glance, how difficult a given player’s competition has been in a non-NHL league.
It gives us a rough idea how a prospect is performing and may be progressing.

Recently, Emmanuel Perry decided to look not just at the main NHL feeder leagues, but every single league on the Elite Prospects “leagues” page. His approach differs from those of previous NHLe calculations. Perry’s approach takes a different tact (as explained to Ryan Stimson of The Athletic, here), attempting to broaden the prospect sample size and understand how all leagues, not just the immediate major junior, college, and pro leagues churn out NHL players. Using his new calculations, we can take a peek at the players in the Sharks prospect pipeline.Here are the all of the Sharks’ forwards who have some chance of eventually making the NHL. Perry released a more in-depth prospect success model based on his NHLe adjusted scoring rates, here, for further reading.

This table shows each forward prospect’s age as of July 15, 2018. It lists his points-per-game rate in his current league (including playoffs), his league, and his NHLe were he to take his current scoring rate to the NHL over an 82-game season. Three players — Ivan Chekhovich, Sasha Chmelevski and Linus Karlsson — played games in two different leagues last season. Those players have two rows, one with the NHLe scoring rate for each league he played in. They’re added up in the “total” column, though thinking about that now it doesn’t make much sense. Rather than add the two league totals, the column should have reflected the percentage of 2017-18 season the player spent in each league then estimated for that percentage of an 82-game season. Instead, take a look at the rates for each individual league as an indication of how well he performed in that league.

Roman Josi Jersey

When it comes to expectations, the stats sheets don’t lie. But, there is always a surprise in store. Who are the Nashville Predators’ players to watch?

We know what to expect. We watch players every year, paying attention to the stats they accumulate. The back of the cards don’t lie, or so they say in baseball. But the same is true with the Nashville Predators. Coming into each season, we have an idea of what each player can – and likely will – produce during the year.

For example, Viktor Arvidsson now has two seasons of 61 points, averaging 30 goals and 31 assists each year. Or, take Roman Josi. You can almost write with a pen the Predators’ captain will score 13 goals and 40 assists.

Yet, even with these consistent numbers, there is always a surprise player or two. Take last season. Did anyone truly see Pekka Rinne winning 42 games in 59 starts? Or holding opponents scoreless eight times? These were nearly career highs. Rinne won 43 games in 2011-12, but that took 73 starts to reach. He also averages just under 5 shutouts per season not counting last year.

Then, there is the case of Craig Smith. His performance last season mimicked that of 2013-14, where is gained 24 goals and 28 assists. In 2017-18, Smith reached 25 goals and 26 assists. This is considerably different from his stats in the previous three seasons. Maybe not a major surprise, but still better than most people expected from the speedy forward.

There are several players that could surprise us next year. Here are five players we are watching.

Juuse Saros Jersey

The Nashville Predators have signed goaltender Juuse Saros to a three-year contract and forward Ryan Hartman to a one-year deal.

Both were restricted free agents who played for Nashville last season.

Saros’ three-year deal is worth a total of $4.5 million. Hartman’s one-year contract will pay him $875,000.

Saros, 23, posted an 11-5-7 record with a 2.44 goals-against average and .925 save percentage this past season while backing up Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne. He made the NHL’s all-rookie team.

The Predators acquired Hartman in a Feb. 26 trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. Hartman had a combined 11 goals and 20 assists in 78 regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Predators in 2017-18.

Hartman, 23, also had two goals and an assist in nine playoff games with the Predators.

Samuel Girard Jersey

A French-language news outlet is reporting that Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard was reportedly in a car accident over the weekend when the 20-year old fell asleep at the wheel of his car Sunday evening. Girard had just left a charity event near his home of Roberval, Quebec.

Fortunately, Girard suffered no injuries and everything seems to be fine. His mother, as well as the owner of the car have both confirmed that this is nothing more than an unfortunate accident.

His mother, Guylaine Dion, mentioned that everything was fine.

“He had a bit of bad luck,” she said.

Samuel Girard was driving his black Chevrolet Camaro, a car loaned by Duchesne Auto from Alma as part of a promotional agreement between the hockey player and the company.

Jean-Michel Duchesne of Duchesne Auto said he was happy that Samuel Girard is doing well.

“He fell asleep and left the road. Now he just needs to rest,” he said. The company will give another vehicle to the young man this week.

According to the report, there is no reason to suspect alcohol or excessive speed was involved in the accident.

After coming to Colorado from the Ottawa Senators in the Matt Duchene trade, the rookie defenseman became a bit of a revelation to NHL fans. Finishing the season with 23 points in 72 games, Girard is looked upon as one of the cornerstones of the young Avalanche team.