Ray Emery was certainly being groomed to be Ottawa’s No. 1. Few, however, expected that ascension to come last season. Ottawa spent major free-agent dollars on Martin Gerber, believing the veteran Swiss goalie could serve as the bridge while Emery continued his development as a backup. But a rugged start by Gerber paved the way for Emery to take over and the 24-year-old grabbed the No. 1 job with both hands. Emery went 33-16-6 with a 2.47 GAA and .918 save percentage in the regular season. Before losing four out of five starts to Anaheim in the Stanley Cup Final, Emery was 12-3 in the postseason and had allowed just 31 goals in those first 15 outings.
Martin Gerber has become one of the best-paid backups in the League after losing his job to Emery. But Gerber does provide some insurance to the Senators in case Emery suffers an injury. Gerber, 33, did go 38-14-6 with a .906 save percentage in 60 games as the No. 1 in Carolina two years ago. He has also served as the backup goalie for three Stanley Cup finalists (Ottawa, Carolina, Anaheim), winning the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. He has also played an intensive international schedule with the Swiss national team.
In the Wings
Brian Elliott – Projected to be Ottawa’s next good, young goalie, Elliott turns pro this year after a solid career with the University of Wisconsin. As a senior with the Badgers, he went 12-16-2 with a 2.15 GAA and .921 save percentage. A ninth-round pick in 2003, Elliott has eight pro games of experience after playing for Binghamton in the American Hockey League after the conclusion of the college season. He is expected to be the No. 1 with the Baby Sens this year.
Jeff Glass – A former CHL Goalie of the year, Glass had a season to forget last year in Binghamton. He went just 9-24-2 in 43 AHL appearances and posted an underwhelming 4.11 GAA and .888 save percentage. Glass has one year left on his entry-level contract and has a lot left to prove to the Sens.
Senators' GM Bryan Murray on the three- year deal he signed Ray Emery to this summer:
"I like the fact we have three years with him. He's young, we believe he's getting better and we'll certainly know that at the end of this contract."
1. At the senior level, Gerber has represented Switzerland on seven different occasions, playing in two Olympics, four World Championships and a World Cup.
2. Emery owns the record for longest winning streak by a goalie to start a career, winning nine straight over the course of three season’s. Philadelphia’s Bob Froese, eight, was the previous record holder.
3. In the 2006 postseason, Emery became the first rookie since 2000 (Brian Boucher, Philadelphia) to win a playoff series when he defeated Tampa Bay, 4-1.
NHL.com's 2007-08 Senators Season Preview Package:
He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.
— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers