Goodbye or Au Revoir to Emery and Cloutier?

Surprising absolutely no one in the hockey world, Ray Emery and Dan Cloutier were placed on waivers today by the Ottawa Senators and LA Kings, respectively.  If the goalies are not picked up then each team can buyout the remainder of their contracts, making them unrestricted free agents.

Sens GM Bryan Murray was generous in disminssing Emery by saying that one day he will get his game turned around and be a good goalie for someone.  Generous, but still a final slap to Emery after a very unsuccesful and turmoil-filled year for Emery, or as he put it himself “the worst year I’ve had – on and off the ice – it just wasn’t enjoyable at all. I learned a lot of things but that’s about it – not too many positives.” 

Expect to see Emery resurface once the dust has settled from the draft (and its inevitable trades) as this year’s free agent crop is thin on goalies.  I doubt any team will claim him off waivers given the size of his contract but I expect a number of clubs to jump at the opportunity to sign him to a reduced contract.  Emery is a technically solid goalie who had a horrible year in every regard.  Could anyone really expect him to have a season worse than this one?  Assuming he’s learned from the experience we should expect to see more of Emery.  Besides, I want to see which boxer he paints on his mask if he ends up with the Kings (either the perfect or worst fit for him, I’m not sure which). 

The Kings of course will be looking for a goalie (what else is new in Los Angeles?) as they have waived Dan Cloutier after a tumultuous two years in Southern California.  Unlike the gracious comments delivered by Sens’ management about Emery, Cloutier has to endure parting comments like this from Kings’ teammate Rob Blake talking about filming The Love Guru: “As a goalie, [Justin Timberlake] was unbelievable. I think he’d only skated once before, but he knew what he was doing. Based on our goalies the last two years, maybe the Kings should sign him.”  Wow, pretty tough to get back between the pipes when you know how your defensemen really feel about you.

Unlike Emery, the future doesn’t look as promising for Cloutier and I wish that weren’t the case.  I’ve always felt that Cloutier unfairly bore the brunt of playoff failure for the entire Canucks’ organization in ’02 and ’04.  Those Canucks teams really weren’t as good as their result and ultimately that showed in the playoffs against stronger opponents.  Cloutier was the easy scapegoat after that center ice goal from Nik Lidstrom but it was the entire Canuck team that collapsed.  I always hoped the Canucks fans would forgive Cloutier, especially since the team still sucks, even with Roberto Luongo in net.  But if it weren’t for bad luck I doubt Cloutier would have any luck at all.  A long string of season-ending injuries hung a label on him, and fair or not, my guess is that might be what ultimately leads to a ‘farewell’ for Cloutier while we say ‘au revoir’ to Emery.




  2. I just got called a biased idiot on my own blog… cool! I feel like I finally have some credibility. Yes Johnny Canuck, I think the Nuckleheads are not a good team DESPITE having one of the best goalies in the world. Without Luongo the Canucks are the LA Kings, battling for the right to draft John Tavares next summer. With Luongo they’re a stretch to grab the last playoff spot in what will again be a super strong Western Conf. Listen, I grew up in Vancouver for part of my childhood, lived there again after college and wear a Canucks t-shirt to the gym so the fan in me wants to see the Cup paraded down Robson but the unbiased blogger in me knows that’s not going to happen soon.

  3. Huh, stretch to grab the last playoff spot? Good predictications…… is this Eklund’s alter-ego?

  4. as a response to johnny canuck better than ever still isnt very good

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