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Posted - 06/12/2009 :  14:25:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With word out of Philadelphia that the Flyers have agreed to terms with yet another reclamation project in fiery goaltender and NHL cast-off Ray Emery, now is the time to start looking ahead and speculate on what that means to fantasy teams when you select your goalies next year.

First, let me say that I'm not surprised that it was the Flyers who have decided to take the plunge and give Emery another shot. The team has a history of this see Todd Fedoruk and Kevin Stevens and they have been looking for a legitimate number one starter for several years.

The question is, could Emery become a legitimate NHL starting goaltender? An upgrade on Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki? If you're looking for the answer to that question here you aren't going to get it.

What I will say is that the Flyers don't sound like a team that is interested in bringing Biron or Niittymaki back into the fold, which should open the door for Emery to get a realistic shot to be the #1 and play upwards of 60+ games. The Flyers are a good team that may even be better next year with a healthy Daniel Briere and future stars Claude Giroux and James vanRiemsdyk most likely with the team for a full season. They may lose pending UFA Mike Knuble but he has lost a step anyways, and their top-4 dmen (Timonen, Coburn, Carle, and Jones) will all be back.

Emery has the skills to be a starting goalie in the best league in the world. He's a big goalie who is extremely atheletic. The only thing holding him back is his lack of composure on and off the ice, certainly a detriment to a position that may carry the most pressure in all of pro sports.

Come fantasy draft time, he is what I would call an extremely high-risk play. It is possible that we will see him off the draft board in many leagues far too early, with owners optimistically gambling on potential without regard to past discretions. In my opinion, this could be a make-or-break, strike-out or homerun type draft pick before the fantasy season even starts.

Of course, this thought could be all-for-not if the Flyers decide to re-sign one of their pending UFA goalies or take a run at a veteran on the open market who could split duties in a tandem role. It is in my estimation that they will likely look towards a cheaper backup who can play 20-30 games. The Flyers simply don't have much money under the cap.

2009 should be an intriguing fantasy draft season. There are so many question marks and we all hope that some of them can be answered before we start drafting our teams.



Ray Irwin writes for www.SchoolYourPool.com, the most complete fantasy hockey advice website on the internet. Featuring player and prospect rankings and interviews, daily starting goalies, buy low/sell high, injury reports, goalie carousel, and lots more...come on over to www.schoolyourpool.com and Get Educated!

Get your LIMITED EDITION PICKUPHOCKEY T-SHIRT! (this design is available until June 30, 09 and then it's gone forever!) http://www.pickuphockey.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6551


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