By Pierre LeBrun, THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Ottawa Senators have decided to fine Ray Emery for his latest transgression in a season that has included no shortage of negative headlines for the goaltender.
Emery showed up late for Ottawa’s practice in Long Island on Monday. It was the second time this season he has been late for a skate.
"We’re going to fine him," Sens GM Bryan Murray told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.
Murray declined to comment on how much he would fine Emery.
The collective bargaining agreement has two possible areas the Senators could look at:
– Page 245 of the CBA states, regarding "rules governing the conduct and conditioning of a player," that "the club may impose a reasonable fine upon the player and deduct the amount thereof from any money due…"
– Page 280 of the CBA states, "any player who misses a scheduled practice without a valid and pre-approved permission will be fined" 1/187 (187 regular-season days) of his NHL salary. Under that scenario, Emery would be fined around US$14,700 from his $2.75-million salary.
The NHL Players’ Association could come to Emery’s defence if the fine is deemed too large. Emery did not speak to reporters Monday or Tuesday.
Emery told Murray that he flew back to the New York area on Sunday evening after spending the all-star break in Las Vegas. However, he went to Nassau Coliseum on Monday instead of the practice facility the Sens had gathered at for their 4 p.m. skate.
"By the time he got there, he got into the rink at 4:03 and (head coach) John (Paddock) wouldn’t let him onto the ice," said Murray. "I met with him today and spent some time talking to him about it.
"He was apologetic, he said: `I don’t want to put you guys in the spot I put you in.’ … For Ray, he was quite apologetic and concerned."
Emery has also found the spotlight this season for throwing his stick in the stands after a morning skate, angry that he wasn’t playing that night, and for dropping the gloves with Sens tough guy Brian McGrattan in practice.
Last season he missed a team flight to New Jersey during a second-round playoff series after getting in a car accident.
The latest mishap spurred rumours of a possible trade but Murray said that was overstating things. Besides, Murray said, it’s not like other teams are calling about him either.
"I think we’ve got two good goaltenders but for the time being it looks like Ray — because of these incidents — seems to put himself in a position where you can’t do anything with him (trade-wise)," said Murray.
"And I don’t really want to (trade him)," added Murray. "If I can ever get this guy just to pay attention and get back to playing like he was playing last year. He’s a good goaltender but he’s got to be more accountable and more responsible."
.The Senators have been disappointed with his work habits at times this season. Emery, meanwhile, has been frustrated that he hasn’t played more and reclaimed his No. 1 job ahead of Martin Gerber.
"The big frustration he has is that he’s not playing, he feels, enough hockey," said Murray. "He wants to be the No. 1 guy, he wants an opportunity to get on a roll, and he feels that’s not happening for him right now.
"We’re asking him to be accountable."
The 25-year-old Emery, who backstropped the Senators to the Stanley Cup final last year, is in the first season of a $9.5-million, three-year contract. He is 8-7-3 this season with a 2.95 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.
Gerber has had the bulk of starts this season and was slated to be in net again Tuesday night against the New York Islanders.