Looking to bolster their goaltending depth, the Anaheim Ducks have signed Ray Emery to a one-year, two-way contract. Terms of the deal were not released, but TSN reported the contract would pay Emery $500,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the AHL.
Emery hasn't played since suffering a serious hip injury with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. He had surgery in April 2010 to repair the condition, called avascular necrosis, which saw the near-complete degradation of the top of the ball in his hip joint. It's the same injury that derailed and subsequently ended the athletic career of two-sport star Bo Jackson.
Emery has to clear waivers, and if he remains with the Ducks, they will assign him to their American Hockey League team, the Syracuse Crunch. The waiver process started Monday at noon ET, and concludes Tuesday at noon ET.
"Ray Emery has been a solid NHL netminder for several years and is only 28 years old," said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. "We are going to give him a chance to go to Syracuse and establish himself again. He's worked hard to get back into shape and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do."
The Ducks could use a veteran backup to All-Star Jonas Hiller. Hiller was held out of Saturday's game against the Avalanche after complaining of fatigue and light-headedness. He's second in the League in games played (47) and shots faced (1,472), and first in saves (1,361). Curtis McElhinney started Saturday, with Timo Pielmeier recalled from Elmira of the ECHL to serve as the backup.
"We're ruling out things as we go," Murray said of Hiller. "He feels a little bit better today, but we wanted to try something else today. He has gone to see the doctor. We'll see how he is tomorrow. If it was a concussion from the puck in the All-Star (Game), we had to rule out that. He's having no concussion symptoms. He was just talking to me. He says he feels fine, but just a little off. We don't want to put a goalie in net who is just a little off."
Emery has been on the ice since the fall, with the hope that he could resume his career at some point.
"This is something I love to do and I don't want to take it for granted," Emery told ESPN.com in an October interview. "You can look at this as a bad thing or you can look at it as a chance to really realize that you should give it all you got because it's not over yet. Give it your best to get back at it."
He spent the 2008-09 season playing in Russia, and was on his way to a strong season with the Flyers prior to his injury. He was 16-11-1 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 29 games.
In six NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators and Flyers, Emery is 87-51-15 with a 2.70 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. He backstopped the Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final.
"We had people see him. He has been working out in Brampton and Ottawa. His goalie coach and trainer are pretty confident he is ready for the next step, so we'll go with that," Murray said.