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Flyers negotiating with goalie Ray Emery

by John McGourty
The Philadelphia Flyers have held talks with goalie Ray Emery's agent, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren confirmed.

"We have internal discussions about many players and their potential availability, including Ray Emery," Holmgren said. "I have spoken to his agent a few times about Ray as well. Any further speculation about this would be very premature."

Emery, 27, backstopped the Ottawa Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, but left the team after a strife-filled 2007-08 and played for Moscow's Mytishchi Atlanta in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League this season.

Emery's Calgary-based agent, J.P. Barry, told the Philadelphia Inquirer he had spoken to the Flyers and is "hopeful" a deal can be done. Emery is 71-40-14 with a 2.71 goals-against average and eight shutouts in 134 NHL games.

Both Martin Biron, 31, and Antero Niittymaki, 28, the Flyers' No. 1 and 2 goaltenders this season, are free agents this summer. Former University of Alabama-Huntsville goalie Scott Munroe, 24, played 56 games for the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms, while veteran Jean-Sebastien Aubin, 31, played in 23 games. Munroe is also a free agent.

Two goalies drafted in recent years, Michael Teslak, 23, who played in six Phantoms' games in 2008-09, and Jeremy Duchesne, 22, spent most of 2008-09 playing for ECHL clubs.

Emery, a native of Hamilton, Ontario, played three seasons with the OHL Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, where he was a teammate Flyers' center Jeff Carter for one season. The Senators chose Emery with the 99th pick in the 2001 Entry Draft.

Emery played three full AHL seasons with the Binghamton Senators and split duties in Ottawa in 2005-06. He went 33-16-6 with a 2.47 GAA, a .918 save percentage and five shutouts in 58 games with Ottawa in 2006-07. He was 13-7 with a 2.26 GAA and .907 save percentage, with three shutouts, in leading the Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final against the victorious Anaheim Ducks.

It was around that time that the wheels started falling off for Emery, whose hobby is boxing. Emery fought teammate Jason Spezza at practice during the 2007 playoffs and then had fights and/or arguments in 2008 with teammates Chris Neil and Brian McGrattan. That followed a series of fights at the OHL level and a couple of AHL suspensions for fighting or, in one case, bumping a referee.

Emery was suspended for three games in February 2007 for slashing Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre in the face. Later that month, he fought Biron, then with Buffalo, and Sabres forward Andrew Peters.

Emery signed a three-year deal with Ottawa in July 2007, but arrived at training camp with a wrist injury and lost his job to veteran Martin Gerber. He was sent home from a December practice by Ottawa coach John Paddock. There was another incident in January, fights with teammates, his coach's firing, his general manager's public attempts at failed trades, demotion, waivers, and finally, Emery's release at the end of the season.

Emery signed last summer to play in Moscow, where KHL rules mandate he can play no more than 36 games in a season. He is signed for two years, but his contract allows him to leave after one year if he gets an NHL deal.

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