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

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TORONTO (AP) -The Ottawa Senators avoided salary arbitration with goalie Ray Emery and defenseman Christoph Schubert on Tuesday, and hope to do the same with center Chris Kelly.

"We're hoping that we can get that resolved as well," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray, who had a meeting planned with Kelly's agent later Tuesday.

It would cap what was already a busy day. Emery re-signed for a $9.5 million, three-year contract and Schubert agreed to a $2.65 million, three-year deal.

The contract with Emery was struck just before the two sides were to begin their arbitration hearing.

"They say some guys get upset in there," Emery said on a conference call. "I'm just happy to finish this thing."

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.

"I like the fact we have three years with him," Murray said. "He's young, we believe he's getting better and we'll certainly know that at the end of this contract."

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

"I like Ottawa," Emery said. "I realize we have a great team. I know the guys, I know Bryan Murray, John Paddock. It's a comfortable fit for me."

Schubert will earn $850,000 next season and $900,000 in each of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The 25-year-old had 25 points and a plus-30 rating in 80 regular-season games last season while making $525,000. He added one assist in 20 playoff games. His arbitration hearing had been scheduled for Friday.

Kelly's hearing isn't until Aug. 1.

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