Please recall back in 2006 when Ray Emery(notes), then goaltender for the Ottawa Senators, donned a mask featuring an image of former heavyweight champion of the world and convicted rapist Mike Tyson. After some heat and a discussion with then Ottawa GM John Muckler, Emery decided to switch helmets after using it for one game, a 5-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
A well-known fan of pugilism, Emery has shown his skills in the "sweet science" on several occasions over the years. There was the AHL fight with Josh Gratton, the brawl with Martin Biron and Andrew Peters(notes), and of course, last season's actions towards an Atlant Mytishchi trainer who tried to put a hat on Emery's head after he was pulled.
Back in the NHL after a year in the Kontinental Hockey League, Emery's new mask will have the Philadelphia faithful behind him even before he debuts with the Flyers this season. This one, however, will feature two less controversial figures in boxing history along with a fictional underdog, all whom hail from Philly:
That's "Smokin" Joe Frazier, Bernard Hopkins and of course, Rocky Balboa who will be featured on Emery's mask this coming season. We can only hope that if the Flyers season is once again derailed by inconsistent goaltending, Emery can at least spice it up with another goalie fight inspired by the legends on his mask.
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