Sports Outside the Beltway

Philadelphia Flyers sign Goalie Ray Emery

The former Ottawa Senator spent the last NHL season playing in Russia. From AP-

A year after Ottawa released the petulant goaltender, forcing him to turn to a Russian league when no other NHL team would take him, Emery agreed to a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers worth about $1.5 million.

General manager Paul Holmgren believes Emery, 26, has mended his mercurial ways and again can be the player he was when he helped the Senators to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007.

“I spent a great deal of time talking with Ray,” Holmgren said Wednesday. “The thing that kept coming back is he’s recognized there was a period in his life when he made some mistakes.”

Emery missed practices and clashed with teammates in Ottawa and was charged with multiple speeding violations and a road rage incident. Emery insists he’s learned from the past.

“I learned maybe more from those bad experiences than the good times we had there,” he said. “I realize I had a great thing going and lost a lot of people that I enjoyed hanging out with. I want to get back to having those good relationships. I think that’s the reason I’m going to change.”

Ottawa was a very good goalie up through the 2006-07 NHL season when he helped Ottawa reach the Stanley Cup finals. Then he entered hurt, didn’t play very well, and had the problems listed above. The Senators tired of Emery’s antics, gave his release. That the team then tried to play winning hockey with a couple of schlock career backup goalies(Alex Auld and Martin Gerber) is a whole other story.

Philadelphia had a good Goalie in Martin Biron, but he along with the Flyer’s backup Goaltender are unrestricted free agents this off season. The team didn’t want to pay Biron what he was asking for salary wise, so Philly went with the cheaper option of Emery. Emery for Biron is at best a lateral move for the Flyers. It can backfire, if Emery begins misbehaving again.

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