Hamilton police have confirmed former NHL goaltender Ray Emery has died after an apparent drowning Sunday afternoon in Hamilton Harbour.
Police say they were called to the Leander Boat Club around 6 a.m. Sunday morning following reports a man went swimming in Lake Ontario and didn’t resurface.
Police say Emery disappeared after jumping from a boat into the water. His body was recovered approximately 70 feet away from the boat at 2:50 p.m.
Sgt. Marty Schulenberg said they believe this was a “case of misadventure” and no foul play is suspected in his death.
Emery, 35, played for several teams throughout a career spanning more than a decade, including the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers.
He won the William M. Jennings trophy – and the Stanley Cup – with the Blackhawks in 2013.
The Ancaster native was 35.
His family has been notified and a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the official cause of death.
Former teammates, coaches and executives who played and worked with Emery have been expressing condolences online.
Emery played junior hockey for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, where current Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas began his career.
Dubas posted about Emery’s death on Twitter Sunday afternoon.
“Ray’s smile and intelligence made him a magnetic personality,” Dubas wrote. “You always rooted for him to reach his vast potential, even as he went through the many ups and downs of his playing career.”
Former Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk, who played with Emery in Philadelphia, said on Twitter: “So sad to hear the tragic news about Ray Emery – was a great teammate and person.”
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk also released a statement expressing condolences.
“Ray was instrumental in our run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, and at his best he brought a competitive edge and combative mentality to the game. On behalf of our entire organization, I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to Ray’s family, friends and loved ones,” said Melnyk.
Emery battled avascular necrosis, the same serious hip ailment that ended two-sport star Bo Jackson’s career, and came back to play. He and fellow Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford combined to win the Jennings Trophy for allowing the league’s fewest goals during the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
Throughout his career, Emery dealt with off-ice problems, including an incident of road rage, assault of a trainer in Russia and behaviour that led to him being sent home from Ottawa’s training camp.