Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Updated: June 10, 11:48 AM ET
G Emery leaves Russia for Flyers
By Pierre LeBrun
The Philadelphia Flyers are giving goalie Ray Emery a second chance in the NHL.
The team announced Wednesday it has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Emery, who spent this past season playing with Mytishchi Atlant of Russia's KHL and before that, parts of five seasons with the Ottawa Senators.
The deal, which can't officially be signed until July 1 because of CBA rules involving free agents coming from Europe, is worth $1.5 million, a source told ESPN.com.
"I'm excited to be able to get a chance to play with a team that's a contender and I'm grateful for the opportunity that's being given," Emery said in a statement. "I think I have the ability to play consistent. I'm athletic, but I try to rely on a system and make things as simple as possible."
Emery, 26, recently met with Flyers owner Ed Snider, as well as coach John Stevens and general manager Paul Holmgren. Emery's contract was bought out by the Senators in June 2008, ending a tempestuous time marked by a run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2006-07, but also tardiness to practice, fights with teammates and accusations he was poisoning the dressing-room atmosphere.
He underwent eight weeks of behavioral counseling last spring before heading off to the KHL, where he had an excellent season.
Emery was a standout in the 2007 playoffs. He posted a 2.26 goals-against average and three shutouts to help lead the Senators to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the Anaheim Ducks. He began the 2007-08 season recuperating from a wrist injury. In 31 games, he posted a 12-13-4 record with a 3.13 GAA and a lowly save percentage of .890.
What does Emery's arrival mean for Martin Biron? The veteran goalie, an unrestricted free agent July 1, remains of interest to the Flyers, who would love to have a 1-2 punch of Emery and Biron. But, at this point, the gap in salary talks between the Biron camp and the Flyers is large.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.