Sens give Emery buyout notice
It appears as though the NHL buyout season has begun, leaving two underachieving goaltenders to look for new homes.
Goaltenders Ray Emery and Dan Cloutier have been put on waivers, the first step that must be taken to buy them out.
If not claimed by anyone, the respective teams can then proceed with the buyout.
"We will see if anyone claims (Emery)," Sens' GM Bryan Murray. "If not, (enacting the buyout) is the plan. It's unfortunate. I am sure Ray will one day get his game turned around and get things in order and be a good goalie for someone."
Emery's buyout marks the end of a tumultous era with the Ottawa Senators. At one time, Emery was considered the future of the Senators between the pipes. But a series of incidents this season, including showing up to practice late on several occasions, soured Emery's relationship with the team.
The move comes as no surprise to neither Emery, nor his agent JP Barry.
"I can't say that we are surprised it has been something that has been talked about for months. We were hoping he could be moved but I guess that's not going to happen," Barry told TSN.
"Ray and I have had a lot of talks since the end of the year and he regrets what happened this year. He knows he is to blame for a lot of things and he's accepted that he knows he has to refocus and he has to kind of change some things in his life and I think he is going to do it."
Emery signed a three-year, $9.5 million contract in July of 2007 and has two years and $6.75 million remaining on his contract. Under CBA rules, the Senators are on the hook for one-third of Emery's remaining salary, $2.25 million. That amount will be spread across twice the length of the remaining years of the contract, resulting in a cap hit of slightly less than $600,000 for the next four years.
Back in April, following the Senators' elimination from the playoffs, Murray confirmed that Emery would not return to the team.
"My plan is not to have him back," Murray told reporters at the time.
"I don't know if he was a total distraction or not, but the fact is he didn't play down the stretch and he didn't play in the playoffs, and that was a result of him not having played as well as he did a year ago. He didn't, in my opinion, commit to the team in the way that we think our players have to commit."
Although Emery admitted he did not perform up to standards this year, he said he would not be the fall guy for the team.
"Yeah it was a really bad year for me," said Emery at the end of the season. "The worst year I've had - on and off the ice - it just wasn't enjoyable at all. I learned a lot of things but that's about it - not too many positives."
Emery went 12-13-4 with a 3.13 GAA and a .890 save percentage in 31 games this year.
Cloutier played just nine games for the Kings this year. He spent most of the season with Manchester of the AHL and sidelined with a hip injury.