Former NHL goalie Ray Emery was found dead of an apparent drowning in Hamilton, Ontario on Sunday at age 35.
The Hamilton Police Department recovered Emery’s body a few hours after he was reported missing by his family, The Hamilton Spectator reported. Emery was reportedly last seen by his family at Hamilton Harbor, where he dove into the water and never returned to the surface.
Hamilton Police Inspector Marty Schulenberg said that he doesn’t believe there were suspicious circumstances surrounding the drowning and called it a “case of misadventure.” Schulenberg added that an autopsy would be performed on Monday.
As news of Emery’s passing broke on Sunday, former teammates and coaches offered their condolences on social media.
“Lost my golfing buddy and best friend today,” Dave Bolland, who played with Emery on the Chicago Blackhawks, wrote. “Uncle Ray Ray touched a lot of hearts and people. Love and miss ya.”
Emery may have been most known for his time with the Blackhawks, where he earned the “Uncle Ray Ray” nickname. Emery served as the back-up goalie on the Blackhawks 2013 Stanley Cup Championship team and finished seventh in voting for the William Jennings Trophy the same year, one spot ahead of the Blackhawks’ full-time goalie Corey Crawford. Crawford and Emery had their votes combined, allowing them to take home the trophy together.
Emery also spent time with the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers.
At the start of his NHL career, Emery’s off-ice problems overshadowed his performance. Emery, nicknamed “Razor” for his aggressive attitude, had to deal with legal issues stemming from a road rage incident and was sent home from training camp for assaulting a trainer.
J.P. Barry, Emery’s agent, acknowledged that Emery had struggles in his personal life but still considered him a great friend.
“[Emery] had many highs and lows in his personal life and his career. He never let things that would derail most of us stop his forward momentum,” Barry told USA Today. “He had a big heart and a fun-loving personality. He was someone we all rooted for to succeed. He was a great client and more importantly, a true friend. We will all miss him.”
Featured Image via: Flickr/Mark6Mauno