Mere minutes after the unofficial onset of free agency, the club announced
the signing of Ray Emery to a contract. He’ll challenge “incumbent” Steve Mason for the job next year, and both men combined have come cheaper than Ilya Bryzgalov’s singular cap hit in 2013-14.
No terms were disclosed, but multiple reports state it is one year for $1.65
“I’m excited. it’s been a crazy couple days and I got excited when I knew this would be an option,” Emery said shortly after the signing was announced.
The 30-year-old was co-recipient of the Jennings Trophy along with starter
Corey Crawford on the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks this past season, having gone 17-1-0 with a 1,94 goals-against average and three shutouts in 21 appearances.
Emery was originally brought to Philly in the summer of 2009 on a $1.5
million, one-year deal, taking the starting job from the departed Martin
Biron. However, serious hip injuries derailed his one and only season in
orange and black.
He was shut down in March of 2010 and forced to undergo season-ending bone-graft surgery to repair avascular necrosis in his right hip the following
month, shortly after a bothersome left-hip injury required the team to place
him on long-term injured reserve.
It was a sudden end to Emery’s first campaign back in the NHL since he was let go by the Ottawa Senators due to poor play and discipline issues following the 2007-08 season. He finished the year at 16-11-1 with a 2.64 GAA and three whitewashes.
But Emery persevered, resurfacing with Anaheim the following season and
garnering consideration for the Masterton Trophy after going 7-2-0 with a 2.28 GAA in 10 games.
The Ontario native then hooked on with Chicago in 2011, compiling a 15-9-4
mark and 2.81 GAA two seasons ago.
It’s the second time in four years that Emery will have to prove himself worthy in Philadelphia, but unlike the first time around when it was about rehabbing his image, it will now be about his suitability as a long-term solution to the franchise’s crease troubles.