A little over an hour after the Flyers removed Ray Emery’s name from their website, as he temporarily became a free agent, the club circled back.
The Flyers' lone NHL move (they did add AHL goalie Rob Zepp) as of early evening on the first day of free agency was to re-sign goalie Ray Emery as Steve Mason’s backup for the upcoming season.
Emery agreed to a one-year deal worth $1 million – which was $650,000 less than he earned last season.
The Flyers, who are cash strapped because of their inability to rid themselves of Vinny Lecavalier’s $4.5 million cap for the next four years, really had little choice but to sign him.
After the re-signing of Emery, the Flyers are now $1.23 million over the $69 million salary cap, according to Capgeek.com. They are permitted a 10 percent overage until the season begins in October.
The affordable goalies were already gone: Thomas Greiss (went to Pittsburgh); Anders Lindback (to Dallas); and Justin Peters (to Washington).
“You always want to earn as much as you can,” Emery said. “I’m happy to be staying in the same spot. It was a real comfortable situation for me. I’m glad I get to stay somewhere I am comfortable … I think I will do better in a comfortable situation.
“From the business [standpoint], that is more the agent who talks numbers and stuff. I want to help the team. My job is to stop the puck.”
The Flyers apparently gave some thought to signing former Penguin Tomas Vokoun, but they likely had some apprehension about his physical well-being. Vokoun missed all of last season with Pittsburgh because of a blood clot.
The 32-year-old Emery, who has had some serious hip issues in the past, missed five consecutive games last season with a groin pull before coming back on the bench. Other than that, he was healthy.
He and Mason represented a pretty good duo for the Flyers. Emery appeared in 28 games with a 2.96 goals against average and .903 save percentage.
“I thought it was a good relationship,” Emery said. “I thought as far as the whole team went, it was a good situation chemistry-wise. We’re disappointed the way the playoffs went last year losing Game 7, but we’re working on building and continuing the good things we started to see last year.”
Emery often played better than his numbers would indicate. There were a several games in which he simply didn’t get any goal support. Hence a 9-12-2 record.
He somehow managed to lose a 0-0 game in St. Louis that went to a shootout, that’s how bad his luck was.
“If our team does well, then I’m happy,” Emery said. “I learned a lot off Mason last year as far as he approaches his game. “It’s a supporting role and it’s a role I am used to.
“If Mase has year like last year and I can contribute a little better in the games I get in, it will be a good season.”
This was the least active the Flyers have been in free agency since 1995, when, following a lockout, a limited form of free agency made its debut that summer coming off a new CBA.