Ray Emery dares to be different. Most goalies do. But the Ottawa Senators backup wasn't expecting a hullabaloo over his latest goalie mask.
Emery stirred up some bad press when he wore a Mike Tyson goalie mask in a 5-0 home loss to Boston on Monday night, so much so that he won't be wearing the protective artwork again.
"We didn't ask him not to wear the mask," Senators general manager John Muckler said Tuesday. "We just had a discussion about what was right and what was wrong. He said he would take it off."
Emery is a big boxing fan and has two other masks painted with his favourite pugilists — one with Marvin Hagler, a former middleweight champ, and another with Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion.
"He told me the reason he put Tyson on his mask is because he was an idol of his, as a boxer," said Muckler. "He knows now that [Tyson] he's lost that right because of his conviction as a rapist and also as a female abuser. And he told me he would take the mask off."
Tyson was convicted in 1992 of rape in Indiana and served three years in prison.
This isn't the first time this season that Emery's thirst for the shocking has got him into trouble.
Early in the season, the 23-year-old netminder appeared on the front page of the Ottawa Sun newspaper getting a tattoo.
Then, in January, he caused a brief ruckus when he showed up at the rink with platinum blond hair. That look didn't last long. He dyed it back to black the following day.
Up until that point, Emery didn't need to draw any extra attention to himself — his play was doing it for him.
As backup to future hall-of-famer Dominik Hasek, Emery posted a stellar 6-0 record in relief to start the season. But recently, things have soured for the former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound.
He has lost his last three starts, allowing 17 goals on 62 shots during that span. For the season, Emery has an 8-4-1 record.
Emery wouldn't comment about the mask when prodded by reporters on Tuesday, saying he only wanted to talk about hockey.