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Emery Clears Waivers, Assigned to Syracuse

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks announced today have assigned goaltender Ray Emery to the Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Emery signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Ducks yesterday, and was required to clear NHL waivers, which he did as of 9 a.m. Pacific this morning.

The netminder's arrival in Syracuse is expected to be delayed a couple of days, as the club awaits immigration paperwork.

Emery, 28 (9/28/82), has yet to play hockey in 2010-11 after recovering from hip surgery that was performed in April 2010. He appeared in 29 contests with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009-10, posting a 16-11-1 record with a 2.64 goals-against average (GAA) and .905 save percentage (SV%). He had a five-game winning streak from Oct. 31-Nov. 12, 2009, compiling a 1.38 GAA (7 GA/305 MIN) and .954 SV% (145-of-152) during that span. In addition, the 6-2, 196-pound netminder posted shutouts on three different occasions in 2009-10 for the Flyers.

A native of Cayuga, Ontario, Emery appeared in five NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators from 2003-08. He had a career year in 2006-07, when he posted a 33-16-6 record with a 2.47 GAA and .918 SV% in 58 regular season games. Emery played an instrumental role in the club’s 2007 postseason run, helping the Senators advance to the Stanley Cup Final vs. Anaheim with a 13-7 record and 2.26 GAA in 20 contests. In 2005-06, Emery set an NHL record for the longest winning streak (nine wins) by a goaltender to start his career (one win in 2002-03, two wins in 2003-04 and six wins in 2005-06). In March of 2006, his 12 victories (12-2-2) tied an NHL record for most wins by a goaltender in one month.

Selected by Ottawa in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Emery has appeared in 163 career NHL games with the Senators and Flyers, compiling an 87-51-15 record with a 2.70 GAA and .907 SV. He has also appeared in 157 career AHL contests with a 77-50-18 record and 2.52 GAA. In his first AHL season with Binghamton in 2002-03, he earned All-Rookie Team honors, while ranking second in the AHL in wins (27), tied for first in shutouts (7) and fourth in minutes (2924).

Emery spoke with reporters on Tuesday morning via conference call from Toronto. The following is a transcript:
(Plus, audio of Bob Murray commenting on Emery)

On signing with the Ducks
I'm excited to be back playing again. I realize I had a tough operation and I have been away from the game awhile. I felt Anaheim and their organization was a good spot for me to come back. They seemed interested. I'm just lucky to back, be able to play some games in the American League and go from there.

On his health
My hip feels great and my leg feels great. I really tried to re-vamp my whole body. The reason I was injured before was there were certain small problems in the mechanics on my right side. I actually feel a lot better than I have in the last five or six years. As far as skating goes, I've been on the ice at least three, four times a week for the last two months. For the last month, I've been pretty much every day. I feel good on the ice and strong on the ice. But at the same time, I feel like I need some professional shooters and professional practices to get to the point where I'm comfortable in a game situation.

On his career
It's one continuous journey. There have been some tests along the way. I learned from everything. I made a few mistakes and had a few setbacks. I wouldn't take it back. After going through something, the next time you know exactly how to take that situation. You can build on all those missteps. I'm really excited to be back. I definitely appreciate things more. I appreciate my body more, knowing that it's not always going to be there for me and having that scare of thinking I might have played my last game.

I'm pretty good at taking things step by step and not letting the magnitude of things get to me. I took it just like that, day by day and tried tried not to look too far ahead. There were times, when I first met my trainer and met some doctors, they weren't very positive. It put a little scare in me, but that only motivated me more to surpass their expectations. In both those cases, I definitely did. Now, they are my side thinking this is going to be a good thing and see no reason why I can’t  come back strong.

On his growth as a player
I've been through a lot of different situations and have been able to draw upon that experience. I get fiery and don't mind mixing it up. I've had that passion and that mentality for awhile. I realize when it's a good thing and when it's not now. In no way, shape or form, am I going to stop wanting to win games or stop trying to be the most intense guy on the ice. That is just the way I know how to play. At the same time, I know when to turn it off and when it's not in my best interest to be overly competitive or getting frustrated and showing those things. I think I just have a better balance of it right now. I'm still a sore loser and still go out there to win every game. I won't apologize for being that way. But I also won't let it get in my way in the form of distractions or issues that don't need to come out.

On the future with Anaheim
I can't put words in their mouth and I don't know exactly where I fit in. That is fine with me. Right now, I'm happy to have an opportunity to start skating with Syracause and work myself into getting some game time there. Where it ends up after that is out of my hands. I want to do my best for that team, get my personal game up and help the team win some games. That is where we're going to start.

On his rehabilitation from the injury
I was on crutches for five months. Once I got off crutches, I started walking with a limp and a little bit of discomfort. It's been real gradual. I'd say maybe mid-October, November, was the point where I started getting some strength back. I started turning more into an athlete instead of a rehabilitation patient. From that point, it's been getting the athletic pieces back in place. I started skating in mid-October. From that point on, it's been pretty positive as far as an athletic standpoint. Before I was just trying to get back to walking normally

Over the years, your body adapts to certain injuries. I had an ankle injury when I was younger. You compensate for that by maybe shifting your weight or using a muscle pattern that you're not supposed to.  I had a little knee discomfort. You end up having all these little setbacks and your body ends up not firing properly. The more doctors I saw, the more I realized that the hip was taking the majority of the impact, from me going into a butterfly or just doing athletic activities. Rehabilitating the hip, I had to make sure I was protecting the hip and I had to iron out a lot of these problems, which was knee mobility, ankle mobility and really protecting the hip with abdominals. I had to make sure the muscles around that joint were better in protecting the hip. That is what took me so long. I had to learn how to do things in a way I hadn't done them before.

On on-ice workouts
For about six weeks, I have been skating with the Brampton Battalion, the OHL team here. Three or four days, I have my goalie coach and whoever we can grab around here. Lately, we've had a few professional guys, Eric Lindros and a few guys around Toronto that are available.
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