Honestly, learning of this just makes us like Ray Emery more. It also deepens suspicion that Rayzer is part of the biggest mismatch between player and market in the NHL:
"He swerved in front of me and started throwing fingers all over the place and so I decided it was time to talk it over. I got mad and started yelling at him. I didn't threaten him. I was just using some regular expletives. I've talked to a couple of people (with the Senators), but I'm not too worried about it. I won the war of words and he got a bit mad. I'm not apologizing or anything."Emery seems to be too honest by half sometimes. The typical pro-athlete spin control would be to say, "No comment" or "I regret that this reflects badly on the team" and protect the boy-next-door image of NHL players. Instead, Emery owns up to it, acknowledges that he was no angel, but hey, the other guy was worse.
This stirs up more interest in this because it's Ray Emery, not one of the more monochromatic Senators (obviously, this does not apply to Dany Heatley). It furthers his image as someone who some members of the commentariat would describe as flamboyant. (Who's got time to Wiki that on deadline, besides? Flamboyant used to be code for implying someone was gay -- that's probably how the slur flamer got started -- and it might have taken on a racial connotation once it become a no-no for white people to say uppity.)
Emery can flat-out play goal and it seems like the Sens have realized to live and let live. The point is that he's a marked man in the Ottawa region, playing for a small-market team and his tastes and how he lives will always be brought into the story quicker than with anyone else, especially if his game slips. It begs a question: Why would want to keep being an African-Canadian in a white team sport in a very white-bread city? It's easy to imagine Emery tiring of this and preferring to slip into relatively anonymity in the States — someplace like Chicago — or playing in Toronto, where his uniqueness would be just be Ray being Ray instead of being a "cause for concern" among fans.
(UPDATE, Sept. 7: The Citizen and Sun each have more today. Is this the kind of thing that can be resolved with a couple tickets to the first Habs-Sens game?)
Emery argues with driver after highway traffic incident (Ken Warren, Ottawa Citizen)