Ray Emery will kickstart his hockey career in Russia.
The 25-year-old goaltender, bought out by the Ottawa Senators last month, has signed a one-year deal worth around US$2 million (tax free) with Atlant Mytishchi of the new Continental Hockey League.
"The reality is that since Ray’s buyout there hasn’t been a lot of interest, it doesn’t seem like someone (in the NHL) wants to give him a second chance right now," Emery’s agent J.P. Barry told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "It’s a terrific offer from Russia and we’ve been speaking to them for several weeks since the buyout.
"I’ve been talking to Ray a lot over the last couple of months and I know he’s taken a lot of steps to make changes. This is his best opportunity to play next year."
After helping the Senators reach the Stanley Cup final in 2007, Emery had a nightmare 2007-08 season, losing his starting job to Martin Gerber and grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons — such as being late for practice or throwing his stick in the stands.
Sens GM Bryan Murray had enough and bought him out of a deal that was to pay him $6.75 million over the next two NHL seasons.
Still, between his tax-free deal in Russia plus his buyout money, Emery will actually earn more next season than he would have in the NHL.