Welcome Back: “Razor Ray” Emery Signs with FlyersBREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Friday, July 5th, 2013
Goaltender Ray Emery was reportedly close to re-signing with the Chicago Blackhawks a few days ago to be Corey Crawford’s back-up again. Once the window for free agent visits opened up, though, Emery found he could be expecting offers from the Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders if he was patient.
Ten minutes into free agency, the Flyers announced that they had signed Emery to a one year, $1.65 million contract.
The signing provides Philadelphia with a respectable (and inexpensive) tandem for the 2013-14 NHL season. Mason needs to be challenged in net for the starter position if he is going to truly succeed, and Emery is the best candidate to do that.
Emery, 30, has a career 0.908 save percentage, which is not ideal. He had a great start to last season, though, becoming the first NHL goaltender ever to go 10-0-0 in his first ten starts.
The short term nature of the contract, similar to Emery’s first contract with Philadelphia in 2009, reduces the risk of the signing. Emery’s first season was cut short due to the unfortunate development of avascular necrosis of the hips. It’s nothing short of a medical miracle that he has been able to resume his career, but there’s no guarantee that his health issues don’t crop up again in the near future.
The contract also doesn’t preclude the team from seeking out a more “pedigree” goaltender either later in the 2013-14 season or in the next offseason. Goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist, Corey Crawford, Jonas Hiller, and Jaroslav Halak (among others) will be available as free agents.
As reports continue to flood in one some of the other signings made today, the Flyers have actually looked favorable in comparison.
- Evgeni Nabokov- one year, $3.25M to New York Islanders
- Ryane Clowe- five years, $4.85M per to New Jersey Devils
- Mike Ribeiro- four years, $5.5M per to Phoenix Coyotes
- Nathan Horton- seven years, $5.3M per to Columbus Blue Jackets (he’ll be sidelined till December after shoulder surgery)
- Daniel Alfredsson- one year, $5.5M to Detroit Red Wings (astonishgly)
The Flyers remain over the salary cap by around $2.7 million. There is still work to be done in moving one of Andrej Meszaros or Braydon Coburn (or both) to become compliant. The defense still isn’t much improved from last year either, Mark Streit signing notwithstanding.
It’s not a bad start though.
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