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Emery, Senators avoid salary arbitration, agree to $9.5 million, 3-year deal

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO (AP) -Ray Emery and the Ottawa Senators avoided salary arbitration Tuesday by agreeing to a three-year deal worth $9.5 million that makes him one of the NHL's highest paid goalies.

The 24-year-old was a restricted free agent. He will earn $2.75 million next season, $3.25 million in 2008-09 and $3.5 million in 2009-10 - for an annual average of $3.16 million, a big raise over the $925,000 he made last season. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the contract.

Emery's average eclipses the $2.66 million average salaries earned by Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller (signed last summer) and Carolina's Cam Ward, and is less than the $4.25-million, one-year deal signed by New York Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist.

Emery's deal was struck just before the two sides began their hearing at a downtown hotel, when Senators General Manager Bryan Murray got clearance from team owner Eugene Melnyk.

Emery emerged as Ottawa's starting goalie last season and led the team to a Stanley Cup final appearance. He went 33-16-6 in the regular season with a 2.47 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. He was 13-7 with a 2.26 GAA and .907 save percentage. Emery has started all 30 of Ottawa's post-lockout playoff games.

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