Report: Flyers to Sign Goalie Ray Emery on July 1

So, my buddy Chick calls this afternoon to tell me he heard that the Flyers are set to sign former Ottawa Senators free agent goalie Ray Emery to a contract on July 1.  I was having a good day up to that point.  I had heard a few weeks ago that the Flyers were interested in Emery and had hoped it was only to gain some leverage in their contract talks with goalie Marty Biron, who becomes a free agent on July 1.  Emery, who has been out of the NHL since he was released by the Senators after difficulty with teammates and management a couple years ago, played this past season in Russia but wants to return to the NHL.  Evidently, he can be signed pretty cheaply (about $1 million per year) and the Flyers would rather go this route than re-sign Biron for the supposedly substantial hike in salary that he wants. 

I think this would be a mistake. I don’t think Emery is that great of a goalie. He had a good season in 2006-07 and took the Senators to the Cup Finals, but the potential downside outweighs the possibility of him returning to that form.  He has been a divisive influence in the locker room, exhibited behavior that became a distraction, and has had substance abuse issues.  This year in Russia, he punched a trainer after being pulled from a game.   Biron has played well with the Flyers, especially in the playoffs, and I would give him another couple years with the team that has been built and that is still developing into a legitimate Cup contender.  If they want to dump salary, look at trading Danny Briere, who is making much more than the value that we have gotten in return.  He missed most of the season with injuries and wasn’t really missed and was a non-factor in the playoffs.  Then use the money saved there and re-sign Biron plus add a solid defenseman.  Granted, it would be tough to unload Briere and his contract but I bet it could be done.

I am still hoping that this report is a ploy to force Biron to sign for a more agreeable sum.  Maybe we should have Biron and Emery fight it out for the spot in the Flyers’ net.  They’ve gone at it before:

Career Stats Compared:

Martin Biron: 433 games played, 199-162-25, 2.59 GAA, .911 save %, 25 shutouts

Ray Emery: 134 games played, 71-40-14, 2.71 GAA, .907 save%, 8 shutouts

One Response to “Report: Flyers to Sign Goalie Ray Emery on July 1”

  1. I remember that conversation as if it happened yesterday… oh wait… it was.
    I absolutely agree with Mike about the terror that this guy could be in the locker room. We’ll see, that is if the Flyers are serious.

    That being said, I can see why the Flyers would do this. I would only agree with it if the end result is to free up cap space to acquire Jay Bouwmeester in free agency AND actually sign him. My highly tuned hockey intuition is that Bouwmeester would sign here if he doesn’t get an outrageous offer from out West (Edmonton). The reason I say this is that I noticed at the deadline the Flyers-Bouwmeester buzz was WAY too high for nothing to happen. I was stunned that it did not and postulated that something was terribly wrong with the way it played out.

    Last night on Daily News Live, I was reassured that I was right. Tim Panaccio stated that at the deadline last year Bouwmeester essentially had his bags packed for Philly, but Jacques Martin wouldn’t pull the trigger on the trade. That left the Flyers with no options at the deadline except to pick up Carcillo.

    I now understand that the terrible lack of action at the deadline was not Holmgren’s fault. Homer can make it right though. If he does the deed and signs Bouwmeester, and I’ll go along with the Emery thing.

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